'American Bandstand' host Dick Clark dies

'American Bandstand' host Dick Clark is dead, according to spokesman Paul Shefrin.

He was not a musician, but Clark was a rock-and-roll idol who was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for spreading the gospel of pop music.

As the host of "American Bandstand," he brought music to millions of teenagers in the 1950s without alienating their parents.

In its more than 30 years on television, "American Bandstand" featured the greatest pop performers. Artists like James Brown and Stevie Wonder made their debuts on the show thanks to Clark who ended the practice of using only white performers on television.

He became an entrepreneur in the process.

Clark hosted several game shows and became a commercial pitchman.

Dick Clark Productions created thousand of hours of television, particularly awards shows including the Golden Globes, the Daytime Emmy Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards.

He appeared on many of the shows, most famously for years ringing in the new year, as host of "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve."

Clark was unable to host in 2004 after suffering a stroke a few weeks before the show. But he made a highly-anticipated return to the program in 2005. It was his first television appearance since the stroke.

Clark's youthful appearance earned him the nickname "America's oldest teenager." "Hey, the minute you grow up, the minute you mentally atrophy and freeze in time, you are old," Clark said.

Clark felt that rock and roll lasted so long because it has so many forms. He himself survived by embracing each new wave ensuring the enduring affection of generations of Americans.

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