Veteran US television personality Dick Clark has died of a heart attack, aged 82.
Known to Americans as “the world’s oldest teenager” due to his youthful looks and zest for life, Clark had continued working despite suffering a debilitating stroke in 2004.
Best known as the host of Top 40 music showcase American Bandstand, Clark introduced stars ranging from Buddy Holly to Madonna and championed numerous British acts, including Pink Floyd, Robert Palmer, Adam and the Ants and Wham!.
He began work on the show in 1956, a year later making the then bold decision to allow black teenagers to join the throng of dancers enjoying the music in the studio.
Clark was also renowned for his annual New Year’s celebration, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, which he presented from Times Square in New York and last co-hosted in 2011.
Record executive Clive Davis called Clark “a true pioneer who revolutionised the way we listened to and consumed music”, adding, “For me he ranks right up there with the giants of our business.”
US President Barack Obama said of Clark: “More important than his ground-breaking achievements was the way he made us feel – as young and vibrant and optimistic as he was.”
Clark is survived by his wife, Kari, and three children from two former marriages.