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Regis Philbin, Other Stars, Fans Remember Dick Clark

Arts & Entertainment

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ABC/ Donna Svennevik(NEW YORK) — Regis Philbin is one of the many stars remembering the late Dick Clark, who died Wednesday at the age of 82.

Philbin filled in as host of Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in 2004, after Clark suffered a stroke. He says of his experience on the special, “I was sorry he couldn’t be there and I wondered what the reaction was going to be, but I just kept saying, Dick is back next year, believe me. But that was a thrill for me and I’ll never forget it.”

Philbin tells ABC News Radio he believes New Year’s Rockin’ Eve is in capable hands with Ryan Seacrest, adding, “I think he has it well under control.”

Philbin describes Clark as an innovator in the TV business. He says, “Once I got on a plane and all of a sudden there was Dick Clark sitting next to me. So for six hours on the way from L.A. to New York we talked about the business over and over and over again and I said, Wow, this guy is brilliant.”

Joe Bonsall of country music legends the Oak Ridge Boys was a longtime friend of Clark’s, and he calls him “our first video deejay in a way.” Bonsall explains, “He gave us music, he brought it to the kids, and I think his incredible legacy will be that he was the American icon who stood up there behind the podium and brought the music too us…every genre.”

Chubby Checker echoes that sentiment: “If Elvis was the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll then Dick Clark is the king of all disc jockeys.”

At Clark’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star, fans saluted the TV icon and left flowers.

Here are some other celebrity reactions on Twitter and elsewhere to the news of Clark’s passing:

  • Mario Lopez, a co-host on the 2001-2003 Dick Clark daytime talk show The Other Half: Just heard the news of Dick Clark… It was truly an honor to have worked with him, learn from him and to be able to call him a friend. He was a great man and an even better friend. The word legend is thrown around a lot, but it’s never more appropriate than when used in describing Mr. Clark. He was a real inspiration & influence in my life. I will dearly miss my friend…Rest well DC.”
  • Jenny McCarthy, who served as a correspondent on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in recent years: “RIP dick Clark. You were amazing to work with. U will be missed. Xxxoo.”
  • Joan Rivers: “Very sad to hear about Dick Clark. What a great life. What a great career. Relevant until the end. He will be missed!”
  • Debbie Gibson, 1980s pop star who performed on American Bandstand: “Just heard about Dick Clark. Oh man…. So sad :-(“
  • Rob Thomas, Matchbox 20 frontman: “The end of an era. R.I.P. Dick Clark.”
  • Billy Ray Cyrus: “R.I.P. Dick Clark. Thoughts and prayers with the Clark Family.”
  • Snoop Dogg: “REST IN PEACE to the DICK CLARK!! U were pioneer n a good man!! Thank u sir.”
  • Questlove, member of The Roots: “Dick Clark. A Great Philadelphian. Thank You Very Much!”
  • Janet Jackson: “Dick Clark changed the face of musical television. He was wonderful to many artists including our family. We will miss him. God bless.”
  • Barry Manilow: “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.”
  • Kenny Rogers: “I’m one of the lucky people who can say that I knew Dick Clark personally. Dick produced almost every awards show I was on during the 80’s, and he constantly encouraged me toward success. He will be missed by everyone–especially by those who knew him well.”
  • Diana Ross: “I was very sad to here this news….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.”
  • Stevie Wonder: “Dick Clark bridged a color gap at a time when there should not have been one, giving musical life to black artists that may not have had a chance. He gave music freedom – equal opportunity. He wore many hats and all of them incredibly well.  His saying was it’s got a beat and you can dance to it.  My words are he had a heart of gold, that’s what I know and I’m stickin to it.”
  • Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff: “As fellow Philadelphians, we have admired Dick Clark and the American Bandstand brand for many years, as it promoted Philadelphia music around the nation. Dick Clark was one of our inspirations for creating the ‘Sound of Philadelphia’ music brand.”
  • Berry Gordy, Motown founder: “I’m saddened and devastated over the loss of my dear friend, Dick Clark.   We were friends for over 50 years….Dick was always there for me and Motown, even before there was a Motown….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.”

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