The world was deeply saddened by the tragic news of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius’ passing this morning. He was instrumental in bringing the hottest new music and dances to the living rooms of the masses, and without his influence, TV and music just wouldn’t be the same today.

In honor of the influential, smooth talking host Don Cornelius, who introduced the best R&B, soul and funk music for 22 years and beyond on Soul Train, we dug up some of the classic performances from some of the hottest acts of the day.

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Aretha Franklin[/lastfm]: “Rock Steady”

A young, fresh-faced Aretha Franklin blows the audience away with her powerful voice and an “invitation to all of us and to all of you” to “Rock Steady” in 1973.

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]The Jackson 5[/lastfm]: “I Want You Back”

Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 got one of their first starts on Soul Train, and who could forget this classic 1973 performance of “I Want You Back.”

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Gladys Knight & The Pips[/lastfm]: “Friendship Train”

Don said it best as the four people who represent a “mighty mountain of soul” took the stage!

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ashford And Simpson[/lastfm]: “Somebody Told A Lie”

Husband/wife singer/songwriting duo Ashford and Simpson tore the house down with their ballad “Somebody Told A Lie” in 1976.

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Michael McDonald[/lastfm]

Michael McDonald premiered some of his first solo hits on this episode of Soul Train in 1982.


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