Dick Clark’s Death: The Music Industry Reacts to Loss of Legendary Broadcaster

Music-industry luminaries and longtime collaborators offered words of condolence and celebration in the wake of Clark's death early Wednesday.

Dick Clark died Wednesday morning after suffering a massive heart attack. He was 82.

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Since the news was announced, newcomers and luminaries alike from the music industry have released an outpour of statements celebrating the life and legacy of the former American Bandstand host.

Recording Industry Association of America  Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman issued the following statement on behalf of the RIAA:

“We have lost a true American icon, trailblazer and legend in Dick Clark. More music, over multiple generations of fans, has been brought into hearts, minds and homes than perhaps any other figure in history – including many of our most beloved artists in their very first television appearances, especially on the singular American Bandstand. It is one thing to champion music and simply change the landscape – it’s quite another thing to do so for more than 60 years."

“He was of course a brilliant businessman.  From the American Music Awards, Rockin New Year’s Eve and Top 40 Countdown to Emmy-Award-winning television shows such as Jeopardy and $100,000 Pyramid, he is simply part of the American fabric.  But even more so, his trademark voice, style, passion for music and seemingly eternal youth will forever be part of our consciousness.”

Connie Francis said of Clark, “I considered Dick to be my dearest friend in this business, a friendship that has endured since 1958. He was there for every crisis of my life and there were many. Without Dick Clark there would have been no career because I was ready to abandon it. Dick was the most principled man I ever met in this business and treated everyone the same way, even if you were the little guy.”

Composer Mike Curb also offered a comment about Clark, with whom he collaborated at the beginning of both of their careers. “I had the opportunity to work with Dick Clark for 50 years, beginning when I wrote the theme for American Bandstand,” he said. “He has clearly been the most important figure during my lifetime in the industry.”

In his comment, musician Kenny Rogers said, “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.”

Jermaine, Jackie, Tito and Marlon Jackson offered words of support to Clark’s family as they paid tribute to his impact on the music business. “The passing of Dick Clark is a profound loss, not only for those who had the great fortune of knowing him, but for our culture as a whole. Dick was a true innovator: Not only did he create a beloved platform that allowed numerous, gifted artists to break through-- he single-handedly redefined popular culture. His legacy will endure, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.

The Recording Academy had this to say about Clark: "Recording Academy Trustees Award recipient Dick Clark was an entertainment icon, bringing music into the homes of millions of Americans over his nearly 60-year career. His shows ‘American Bandstand’ and ‘Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve’ blazed new trails in pop music and became pivotal celebrations of music on television, spotlighting both established and emerging artists. Our deepest heartfelt sympathies go out to his family, friends, fans, and all who have enjoyed his great contributions to music and entertainment. He will be terribly missed, and his legacy will live on forever."

Jim Donio of the National Association of Recording Merchandisers offered the following comments about the passing of Dick Clark. “This is a very sad day. The world has lost a brilliant entertainment business visionary, humanitarian, and a true gentleman. Dick was a long-time friend, supporter, and partner of NARM from the organization’s beginnings.”


“He hosted many dinners and awards ceremonies through the years, notably the 30th and 40th anniversary events in 1988 and 1998, at which he received the NARM Presidential Award for Sustained Achievement. Personally, I had the great pleasure of working with him and his colleagues on developing and executing promotional campaigns for the American Music Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards. He approached each project with great creativity and enthusiasm and always had a particular appreciation and respect for the music retail community.”


“As a native Philadelphian, I also have fond memories of Dick hosting the Bandstand program and of watching my sister dancing on the show. On behalf of NARM’s members, I extend my deepest sympathies to Dick’s entire family, his friends and his business associates. He was one of a kind.”