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Don Cornelius' Son Speaks Out on Father's Death

Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, Patti LaBelle also respond to 'Soul Train' creator's passing

February 3, 2012 8:55 AM ET
don cornelius
Don Cornelius
Kevin Parry/WireImage

Soul Train creator Don Cornelius' son, Tony Cornelius, has spoken out on his father's apparent suicide earlier this week. "The family is saddened as we mourn the loss of Don Cornelius," he said in a statement to CNN. "At this time, we respectfully ask that you allow our family and friends the privacy necessary to get through this difficult time. We thank all the well-wishers and the fans who have supported the Soul Train legacy."

Artists closely associated with Cornelius and Soul Train have also issued comments on the host's passing. "It's a heartbreak to the music world, to the television world, and it is a heartbreak to me personally," Stevie Wonder said in a statement. "That's why we have to always reach out to friends and put our best love forward. God bless his family and God bless his soul."

"My deepest condolence goes out to his family and to the multitude of his friends in this time of sorrow and grief," Dionne Warwick told CNN. "The world has lost an icon of the broadcasting world, and I personally have lost a dear friend."

"Don Cornelius was simply a genius and the contributions he made to music and our culture are second to none," said Patti LaBelle. "I will always treasure the fond memories I have of working with Don over the years and being part of the history that he created through Soul Train. He will truly be missed, and my heart and prayers go out to his family."

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