Don Cornelius, the creator of the iconic television dance program "Soul Train," is dead, police said Wednesday. He was 75.
Officers discovered Cornelius after responding to reports of gun shots in the 12600 block of Mulholland Drive, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
Cornelius was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, LAPD spokesman Kevin Maiberger said. Police are at the scene conducting an investigation, he added.
Cornelius launched "Soul Train" in 1970 as a local dance show from Chicago. It chugged its way to Los Angeles the following year and eventually into pop culture history.
The show aired until 2006, making it the longest running U.S. series in first run syndication.
Cornelius, who long served as the host of the show, sold the "Soul Train" franchise in 2008.
Long-time friend Rev. Al Sharpton expressed shock and grief over the news of the death.
"He brought soul music and dance to the world in a way that it had never been shown and he was a cultural game changer on a global level," he said in a statement.
Quincy Jones said that he was "deeply saddened" at the sudden passing of his friend, colleague and business partner.
"Before MTV there was 'Soul Train,' that will be the great legacy of Don Cornelius," he said. "His contributions to television, music and our culture as a whole will never be matched."