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Don Cornelius death a mystery, 'Soul Train' chief says

February 1, 2012 |  4:12 pm

 Don Cornelius, right, with Stevie WonderThe apparent suicide of Don Cornelius came as a shock to many — including the media honcho who had spent the last several years working with him on "Soul Train" projects.

Cornelius, the 75-year-old creator and former host of the iconic musical TV series was found dead in his Sherman Oaks home Wednesday of an evidently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

But Kenard Gibbs, the former Vibe magazine chief who bought Soul Train Holdings from Cornelius in 2008, said there were no signs of trouble.

PHOTOS: Don Cornelius, a life in pictures

"I just didn't know Don to be despondent in any way," Gibbs told Show Tracker in an interview Wednesday afternoon.

Gibbs said he last spoke with Cornelius about a week ago, when they discussed several projects and the upcoming Grammy Awards.

"I knew that his health wasn't 100% but that never impeded him from taking meetings," Gibbs said.

"Soul Train" ceased original production in 2006, but Gibbs said he's aiming to relaunch the weekly TV franchise and is also looking at potential film and stage-musical deals.

RELATED:

Cornelius remembered through photos

Remembering Don Cornelius of "Soul Train" fame

— Scott Collins

twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT

Photo: Don Cornelius (right) with Stevie Wonder in 2005. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images.

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