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TV pioneer Dick Clark dies at age 82

Dick Clark, the creator of "American Bandstand" and "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve," died Wednesday morning.

He was 82.

 

Clark suffered a massive heart attack after entering St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica on Tuesday night for an outpatient procedure, his family said in a statement.

Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

 

Clark had suffered a stroke in 2004, which forced him to significantly curtail his hosting of "New Years' Rockin' Eve," a show he created in 1972.

 

Long dubbed "the world's oldest teenager" because of his boyish appearance, Clark bridged the rebellious new music scene and traditional show business, and equally comfortable whether chatting about music with Sam Cooke or bantering with Ed McMahon about TV bloopers.

He long championed black singers by playing the original R&B versions of popular songs, rather than the pop cover.

 

Ryan Seacrest, who took over main hosting duties on the New Year's countdown show from Clark after years of working beside the legend, said in a statement Wednesday that he was "deeply saddened."

 

"I idolized him from the start, and I was graced early on in my career with his generous advice and counsel," Seacrest said. "He was a remarkable host and businessman and left a rich legacy to television audiences around the world. We will all miss him."

 

Clark thrived as the founder of Dick Clark Productions, supplying movies, game and music shows, beauty contests and more to TV. Among his credits are "The $25,000 Pyramid," "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes" and the American Music Awards.

 

But it was "American Bandstand" for which Clark was best known. The show was one of network TV's longest-running series, airing as part of ABC's daytime lineup from 1957 to 1987. Over the years, it introduced stars ranging from Buddy Holly to Michael Jackson to Madonna.

 

Clark joined "Bandstand" in 1956 after Bob Horn, who'd been the host since its 1952 debut, was fired. Under Clark's guidance, it went from a local Philadelphia show to a national phenomenon.

"I played records, the kids danced, and America watched," was how Clark once described the series' simplicity. In his 1958 hit "Sweet Little Sixteen," Chuck Berry sang that "they'll be rocking on Bandstand, Philadelphia, P-A."

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