(AllHipHop News) Dick Clark, entertainment icon and long-time host of "American Bandstand" and "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin Eve", died earlier today (April 18) at the age of 82 from a massive heart attack.
Clark, who began hosting "American Bandstand" in 1952, was an early supporter of showcasing the fledgling Rap genre and Hip-Hop culture on mainstream television. On August 24, 1985, Rap legends Run-DMC performed on his popular "American Bandstand" and were also the first Hip-Hop group to make an appearance on the show.
Over the years, Hip-Hop legends such as Kurtis Blow, LL Cool J, Sugar Hill Gang, and The Beastie Boys performed and made appearances on "American Bandstand" alongside Clark.
Following the news of Clark's death, DMC of Run DMC said exclusively to AllHipHop.com, "Dick Clark is the gatekeeper of Rock 'n Roll! He is also a B-Boy! He didn't diss Hip-Hop as a fad like a lot of people did in the early years! He saw a little Rock 'n Roll in us, and having us on his show one of my greatest accomplishments!"
Kurtis Blow also reached out to AllHipHop.com with the following message: "Dick Clark is an American institution and much more than a legend. I truly want to thank him for giving me a shot on 'American Bandstand'. When we met, he was really nice to me and treated me with the utmost respect. God Bless Dick Clark, and may he rest in peace!!!!"
After suffering a stroke in 2004 that left him partially paralyzed, Clark, who also suffered from Type 2 diabetes, dealt with a speech impediment, neither of which stopped him from returning to television for his annual New Year's Eve celebration a year later in 2006. Dick Clark also appeared in cameo roles on two episode of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" alongside Will Smith.
Clark was the host of seven shows throughout his career that included "American Bandstand," "Pyramid," and "Scattegories." He was recognized by the Emmy's four times, and was given a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Peabody Award in 1999. Clark has also been an inductee of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Broadcasting Magazine Hall of Fame.