Don Cornelius, called the conductor of the hippest train in America, was found dead from a single gunshot wound at his southern California home.

At 75, the apparent suicide on Wednesday of the showman with an impeccable sense of cool and of-the-moment style brings an end to the life of a man who helped break down colour barriers in a nation where race has played such a prominent role throughout its history.

In an industry dominated by white businessmen, his Soul Train Saturday afternoon programme featuring the latest R&B, disco, and funk easily stood out from the crowd.

The show, which would go on to become the longest-running syndicated television programme in US history, featured some of the biggest names in music.

From a young Michael Jackson to Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and Marvin Gaye, Soul Train saw the most influential names in music rock its colourful stage from the 1970s through to the 1990s.

Source: Al Jazeera