Dick Clark has died, at the age of 82, CNN reports. The American Bandstand presenter was responsible for breaking a huge number of musical acts in America in a show that "bridged racial and political divides." The singer Tony Orlando is quoted as saying "Only God is responsible for making more stars than DICk Clark." Orlando first appeared on American Bandstand when he was just 16 years old.
Clark was responsible for introducing America to the likes of Buddy Holly and James Brown and he was soon dubbed "America's oldest living teenager," in part for his unflinching commitment to seeking out fresh talent and in part for his ever-youthful looks, as host of American Bandstand. In 2004, he suffered a stroke, which affected his speech and he was forced to cut back on his TV presenting duties. Each year, he struggled to decide whether or not to do his annual 'DICk Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve' special but he would be deluged by with letters of support from fellow stroke sufferers. In 2005, he co-hosted the show with Ryan Seacrest, who paid tribute by saying "He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life."