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Ryan Seacrest on Dick Clark's Death

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest opened up the live show on Wednesday, April 18 with a heartfelt acknowledgment and his condolences to the family of legendary radio and television host Dick Clark.

“It’s a tremendously emotional day for so many people. Fans of music, fans of television, broadcasters and certainly me personally as Dick Clark was one of those incredible pioneers of our business,” Seacrest said in a press conference following Idol. “He taught me how to do television, I studied him as a kid and I had the fortunate opportunity to work with him for several years on New Years Eve.”

Season 11 finalist Hollie Cavanagh mentioned that Seacrest was noticeably “a little down” today, along with the rest of the world.

“America’s Oldest Teenager” collaborated on several television specials featuring black artists with Soul Train creator Don Cornelius. The second half of American Idol was inspired by hits from the Soul Train era and Tony Cornelius, son of the late Don Cornelius, was there to enjoy the show.