Belfast Telegraph

Aretha Franklin pays tribute to Don Cornelius

Aretha Franklin says that Don Cornelius brought a "unity of brother and sisterhood" with the creation of iconic mustic TV show Soul Train.

Aretha Franklin says she is "stunned and shocked" by the death of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius.

The 75-year-old was found dead this morning in his California home as a result of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head," Los Angeles Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter said.

The Queen of Soul released a statement sharing her grief at the loss of her friend.

"It's just so sad, stunning and downright shocking," she wrote. "A huge and momentous loss to the African-American community and the world at large."

"Don Cornelius single handedly brought about a melding and unity of brother and sisterhood among young adults worldwide and globally with the unforgettable creation of Soul Train."

Patti LabBelle added to the tributes calling Cornelius "simply a genius."

"The contributions he made to music and our culture are second to none," Patti said. "I will always treasure the fond memories I have of working with Don over the years and being part of the history that he created through Soul Train.

The music show debuted in 1971 and was on air for 35 years.

His catchphrase which he said at the end of every show became one of his trademarks.

"You can bet your last money, it's all gonna be a stone gas, honey! I'm Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!" he would say.

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