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Don Cornelius of 'Soul Train' honored by hundreds

This March 6, 2006, file photo shows former host of the television show 'Soul Train,' Don Cornelius at his office in Los Angeles. (Damian Dovarganes)

February 17, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Hundreds of family, friends and celebrities attended a private memorial service for "Soul Train" creator and host Don Cornelius.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson led Thursday's service at Forest Lawn. Jackson said Cornelius created a platform for black music and culture that hadn't been seen on television when "Soul Train" debuted in 1970.

Read comments from music producers and performers on the death of "Soul Train" creator Don Cornelius.

Celebrities who attended the near three-hour ceremony included Magic Johnson, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson.

Robinson spoke, explaining you never knew what Cornelius would ask a "Soul Train" guest. He said Cornelius asked him when he last visited Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles.

"Soul Train" was broadcast nationally from 1971 to 2006 and became one of television's longest running syndicated shows. He gave up hosting duties in 1993.

Cornelius died Feb. 1 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 75.