Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson remembered tragic Soul Train creator Don Cornelius on Thursday (16Feb12) during a star-studded memorial service in Los Angeles.
The iconic TV star died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the head on 1 February (12), aged 75, and on Thursday he was honoured for his contributions to the world of entertainment during a three-hour ceremony at Forest-Lawn Hollywood Hills.
Reverend Jesse Jackson delivered an emotional eulogy, crediting Cornelius' popular programme Soul Train with breaking down cultural barriers and paving the way for future black stars, telling the crowd, "It brought joy. It brought pride. It brought talent. It brought hope. It brought opportunity. It blazed trails. It reconciled racism."
Veteran singer Wonder then brought down the house with a rousing performance of Love's In Need of Love and several stars later took to the podium to recall their fondest memories of Cornelius, including basketball legend Magic Johnson and singer/producer Robinson.
The Motown star said, "I'm really happy to be here because Don was my brother and I am celebrating his life. He started a platform for black people that before that time had not been seen. It had been heard, but it had not been seen."
Dozens of family members and friends were also on hand to pay their respects.
Cornelius' remains were cremated last week (ends12Feb12).