don_cornelius_web.jpgLOS ANGELES — Celebrities react to the Feb. 1 death of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius:I am shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden passing of my friend, colleague, and business partner Don Cornelius. Don was a visionary pioneer and a giant in our business. Before MTV there was Soul Train, that will be the great legacy of Don Cornelius. His contributions to television, music and our culture as a whole will never be matched. My heart goes out to Don's family and loved ones.— Quincy Jones

Part of every person's soul who grew up on Soul Train died with him … On his tombstone should read his immortal words: “I'm Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!  -. Jesse Jackson

Don Cornelius was a pioneer & a trailblazer. He was the first African-American to

create, produce, host & more importantly OWN his own show.

— Earvin “Magic” Johnson

God bless him for the solid good and wholesome foundation he provided for young adults worldwide, and the unity and brotherhood he singlehandedly brought about with his most memorable creation of Soul Train.

— Aretha Franklin

We all have a great debt. His work in the ’60s and ’70s helped us to see, again, that human beings, we're more alike than we were unalike and the music and the people he showed allowed us to see. Showed us how the music, the gifts of the African American, to this country and to the world were great gifts and belonged to everybody all the time.

— Maya Angelou

The Soul Train legacy will show you how great this man was. And Soul Train became such a great icon, not only did black people want to be on Soul Train, but you had Elton John, you had The Bee Gees, you had (many) white artists wanting to be on. Soul Train became the thing to do. Don Cornelius didn't do pop artists the way that a lot of the shows did black artists; he included everybody on his show.

— songwriter Kenny Gamble

I have known him since I was19-years-old and James Brown had me speak on Soul Train. He brought soul music and dance to the world in a way that it had never been shown and he was a cultural game changer on a global level.

— the Rev. Al Sharpton

So sad! A great guy & happy memories from Solid Gold & StarSearch: (hash)RIP.

— Robin Leach

Don Cornelius was simply a genius and the contributions he made to music and our culture are second to none. 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. He will truly be missed and my heart and prayers go out to his family.

— Patti LaBelle


— Snoop Dogg

Sad to hear about the passing of Don Cornelius of Soul Train fame. Grateful to him that he turned me on to so much great music.

— Billy Corgan of “Smashing Pumpkins

Really sorry to hear the news about Don Cornelius. He was quite the maverick in his time. Soul Train had a tremendous impact. Sad.

— Slash

R.I.P Mr. Don Cornelius thank you for leaving behind a legacy of Soul. You gave so many a chance to be seen and heard.

— Ledisi

Photo: Don Cornelius