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    Don Cornelius, Soul Train Mastermind, Dead in Apparent Suicide

    Don Cornelius Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

    Don Cornelius, the former host of TV's now defunct nationally syndicated dance music show Soul Train, has died of an apparent suicide. He was 75.

    Here's what we know.

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    L.A. County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter confirms to E! News that Cornelius was pronounced dead at 4:56 a.m. after law enforcement discovered his body at his Sherman Oaks home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

    According to Winter, the coroner's office has investigators en route to Cedars-Sinai hospital, where the body was taken, to conduct an investigation.

    As the emcee of Soul Train from 1971 to 1993, the Chicago-born Cornelius and his silky smooth voice was responsible for bringing soul and R&B to the masses every Saturday morning. He helped further the careers of such legendary performers as Barry White, Smokey Robinson, James Brown and Aretha Franklin.

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    An American Bandstand for the urban market, the program was also one of the first to showcase hip-hop in its infancy and had among its early stable of dancers such future stars as actress Rosie Perez, rapper MC Hammer and '80s hitmakers Jody Watley and Pebbles. Soul Train was so successful, in fact, it spawned a spinoff, the Soul Train Music Awards.

    But after more than two decades at the helm, Cornelius stepped down in 1993, though he continued to serve as producer until Soul Train ceased production in 2006.

    A former insurance salesman, the music man would eventually be lauded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    Unfortunately, per TMZ, Cornelius had gone through an ugly divorce battle in 2009 and was said to be suffering from "significant health issues" the last few years.

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