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Published On: Wed, Apr 18th, 2012

Dick Clark passes away at age 82

Dick Clark, the iconic TV host and producer died today of a heart attack. He was 82.

Edward Yates and Dick Clark celebrating the success of "American Bandstand" in 1967 photo

Edward Yates and Dick Clark celebrating the success of “American Bandstand” in 1967 photo

Clark, nicknamed “America’s Oldest Teenager,” is best known for hosting long-running television shows such as American BandstandPyramid, and holiday staple Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

According to Clark’s publicist Paul Shefrin, Clark passed away this morning following “a massive heart attack.”

Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. Clark had entered St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica last night for an outpatient procedure.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark. He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life.” – Ryan Seacrest who replaced Clark on New Year’s celebration.

Ryan Seacreat and Dick Clark on their New Year's Eve special, 2009 photo

Ryan Seacreat and Dick Clark on their New Year’s Eve special, 2009 photo

Clark had addressed the negative influence of American Bandstand and the backlash: “I was roundly criticized for being in and around rock and roll music at its inception. It was the devil’s music, it would make your teeth fall out and your hair turn blue, whatever the hell. You get through that…”

He became a “primary force in legitimizing rock ‘n’ roll,” adds Uslan. Clark, however, simplified his contribution: “I played records, the kids danced, and America watched.”

Clark then branched out to host game shows before his first produced New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, a New Year’s Eve music special for NBC in 1972, which included coverage of the ball drop festivities in New York City.

Even President Obama addressed Clark’s passing, saying that “With American Bandstand, he introduced decades’ worth of viewers to the music of our times. He reshaped the television landscape forever as a creative and innovative producer. And, of course, for 40 years, we welcomed him into our homes to ring in the New Year.”

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