Don Cornelius
Don Cornelius, creator and executive producer of the television dance show "Soul Train," committed suicide on Wednesday, Feb.1, 2012. Reuters

Don Cornelius, the creator of the iconic dance show, "Soul Train," was instrumental in giving exposure to many black musicians and talented dancers through his show.

Originally a journalist, Cornelius was inspired by the civil rights movements. Realisation of the fact that there was no television programme dedicated to soul music in the United States, he began the dance musical programme "Soul Train," in the early 1970's.

"Soul Train," which began airing in 1971, gave wide exposure to many African American musicians such as James Brown and Aretha Franklin.

"I don't know very many people of a certain age who don't remember 'Soul Train. I know that everybody danced in the room [while watching]," the Huffington Post quoted Whoopi Goldberg as saying.

"It's a huge loss," she reacted.

Don Cornelius, shot himself in his home on Wednesday morning.

Check out the Soul Train Video here: