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Dick Clark fans celebrate TV, radio legend

Dick Clark is shown in New York in this undated file photo.

April 19, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Dick Clark is being remembered by people across the country as fans celebrate the life of the radio and TV icon.

Clark died in Santa Monica on Wednesday after suffering a massive heart attack. He was 82. He checked into Los Angeles' St. John's Hospital after undergoing an outpatient procedure before the heart attack. There were no details on the exact nature of the procedure, or if it was connected to his death.

His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street was adorned with flowers and condolences as friends and fans said their goodbyes to the entertainment legend.

Many remember him as the host of "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve," but it all started back in the 1950s in Philadelphia with "American Bandstand."

Renee King calls Philly home and Clark a legend.

"Dick Clark was a legend with all of us in Philadelphia, Dee Dee Sharp, Mr. Kenny Gamble, The Delfonics, growing up with 'American Bandstand' in Philadelphia," King said.

The show introduced the country to dozens of new stars from Jerry Lee Lewis to Janet Jackson. He also changed how many Americans looked at themselves.

"Most people will remember the change in how America perceived black people, especially with regards to the musical world - the introduction of so many artists that were diverse," said Sandy Ampon, a Clark fan.

He was also an amazing entrepreneur. He produced a number of shows and built an entertainment empire. He also inspired a new generation of entertainers.

"He taught me how to do television. I studied him as a kid, and I had the fortunate opportunity to work with him for several years," said "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest, who took over main hosting duties on the Times Square countdown show from Clark after years of working alongside the legend.

Clark suffered a stroke back in 2004, but that didn't stop him from working. Friends say Clark will be remembered most for representing American teenagers

"It gave a voice to teenagers that were always just being told to go to bed or go to your room. Suddenly, Dick came on the air and gave us respect," said singer Barry Manilow.

Clark was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. The Television Academy honored him with a lifetime achievement award in 2010.

He is survived by his wife Kari and his three children, RAC, Duane and Cindy. There was no word of funeral arrangements.


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