Before kicking off Wednesday night’s American Idol performances, host Ryan Seacrest took time out to pay tribute to the late Dick Clark. The iconic TV personality, who handed over most of his annual New Year’s Rockin’ Eve hosting duties to Seacrest in 2006, passed away earlier in the day of a massive heart attack. He was 82.
"We can't begin tonight's show without acknowledging the passing of a television pioneer and my dear friend, Dick Clark. Without Dick, a show like this would not exist. He will be missed greatly,” Seacrest said.
"Our thoughts and our prayers go out to his family. I know this guy – he's in a better place, saying, 'Hey, let's get on with the show, okay?’ You got it, boss,” he added.
After the show, Seacrest spoke further about his connection with Clark. "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 on New Year's Eve, so I'm sad and I'm grateful for what he's given all of us and certainly what he has given to me," he said.
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