Don Cornelius Cremated in Private Ceremony

Close friends and family attend small gathering for Soul Train creator.

Posted: 02/13/2012 12:19 PM EST
Music News, Soul Train, Celebrity R.I.P., memorial, Don Cornelius

Don Cornelius, the legendary founder of Soul Train, was cremated at a private service in Los Angeles attended by friends and family on Friday. Reverend Jesse Jackson led those gathered in prayer, the Associated Press reports.

A larger private memorial service is planned for this week. That service will also feature Rev. Jackson, who will reportedly take the occasion to give a full eulogy.

“The Rev. Jackson and my father were very, very close friends and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” wrote Cornelius’s son Tony in a statement.

Cornelius was found dead in an apparent suicide on February 1, having sustained a gunshot to the head that appeared to be self-inflicted. He left no suicide note.

The Soul Train host and civil rights activist had suffered a variety of health problems, including at least one requiring brain surgery, in his last years. He also became embroiled in a bitter divorce.

At the Grammy Awards on Sunday, drummer-producer Questlove and host LL Cool J paid homage to the late pioneer.

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