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Dick Clark passes away

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - 2:52pm

A rock and roll icon has died.

Dick Clark, the man many credit with bringing rock 'n roll music into the mainstream, passed away Wednesday at the age of 82 following a massive heart attack.

Whether he was spinning a new record or ringing in the New Year, America's oldest teenager was a beloved figure of music and television.

In fact, Dick Clark was just a teen when he began his long career, first in radio, then TV.

In 1956, Clark hosted a variety show called "Bandstand" where young people would dance along with rock and roll records.

When the show went national, Clark changed the name to "American Bandstand" and broke new ground by introducing not only white artists, but African-American musicians as well.

Soon teenagers all over the country were listening to the latest music while practicing the latest dance moves, like the "stroll" and the "twist".

Clark was known for his youthful looks, but it was also his business savvy that kept him on the air for six decades.

For many years, he also presided over the festivities in Times Square for his annual "Rockin' New Year's Eve" broadcast until a severe stroke sidelined him in 2004.

He returned to the broadcast as the nation welcomed in 2006 re-establishing his credentials as an American icon.

He is survived by his wife Kari and his three children, RAC, Duane and Cindy. 

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