- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 18, 2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Reaction to the death Wednesday of entertainment icon Dick Clark:

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“Michelle and I are saddened to hear about the passing of Dick Clark. 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. But more important than his groundbreaking achievements was the way he made us feel _ as young and vibrant and optimistic as he was. As we say a final `so long’ to Dick Clark, America’s oldest teenager, our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends _ which number far more than he knew.” _ President Barack Obama.

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“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. I idolized him from the start, and I was graced early on in my career with his generous advice and counsel. When I joined his show in 2006, it was a dream come true to work with him every New Year's Eve for the last 6 years. He was smart, charming, funny and always a true gentleman. I learned a great deal from him, and I’ll always be indebted to him for his faith and support of me. He was a remarkable host and businessman and left a rich legacy to television audiences around the world. We will all miss him.” _ Ryan Seacrest.

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“I was very sad to hear this news. We all felt Dick was always this handsome teenager, as we all got older, Dick remained a teenager. I will always appreciate what he did for me and for popular music. He presented Motown and The Supremes on tour with the Caravan of Stars and on American Bandstand where I got my start. Dick Clark was a pioneer, he was a music star maker, he was a legend and was my friend. He said that `music is the soundtrack of your life.’ Since I was 16, he was always a part of mine. My love and prayers go out to his family.” _ Diana Ross.

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“I’m saddened and devastated over the loss of my dear friend, Dick Clark. We were friends for over 50 years. My thoughts and condolences go out to his family, especially his wonderful wife, Kari, who took such incredible care of him always. Dick was always there for me and Motown, even before there was a Motown. He was an entrepreneur, a visionary and a major force in changing pop culture and ultimately influencing integration. It happened first emotionally. Music can do that. He didn’t do it from a soap box, he just did it. That’s who he was. `American Bandstand' was a platform for all artists. For me personally, he helped bring Motown into living rooms across America. Dick did everything with class, style and integrity. He was a true gentleman. His groundbreaking achievements in music and television ensure that his legacy will live on forever.” _ Motown founder Berry Gordy.

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“Dick Clark changed the face of musical television. He was wonderful to many artists including our family. We will miss him. God bless.” _ Janet Jackson tweeted.

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“This is a sad day. He was a dear friend, supporting me and my music for all of my years in the business. A great businessman and a true gentleman. An inspiration. My heart is so heavy now.” _ Barry Manilow posted on Facebook, along with a photo of him and Clark.

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“I loved Dick Clark. He was so instrumental in my career as well as all the other Motown acts and so many others in the recording business. Good bye my friend, rest in peace.” _ Smokey Robinson.

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