Ryan Seacrest, LA Reid, Russell Simmons, More Pay Tribute to Dick Clark
Within minutes of news breaking of Dick Clark's passing, the music business began expressing their grieif and admiration for the man who helped invent the business they work in. From Epic Records Chairman/CEO Antonio "LA" Reid, Madonna's manager Guy Oseary and Ryan Seacrest (widely considered Clark's protegee) to Pitchfork founder Ryan Schreiber, Outkast's Big Boi and the Jonas Brothers -- there is hardly a person in the U.S. music business whose life Clark didn't in some way touch.
"As fellow Philadelphians, we have admired Dick Clark and the 'American Bandstand' brand for many years, as it promoted Philadelphia music around the nation," said Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff in a joint statement. "Dick Clark was one of our inspirations for creating the 'Sound of Philadelphia' music brand. More importantly, we thank him for being one of the pioneers in promoting the Philly Dance and Music scene for the nation and world to enjoy. We send our sincere and deepest condolences to Dick Clark's family."
Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff, Sound of Philadelphia
"Performing on 'American Bandstand' was a a dream come true for the Gap Band. We had just returned from our first performance at MIDEM and Dick Clark welcomed us. He was gracious and had such an appreciation for our music. He was one of a kind and we were so grateful to have had the opportunity to perform on the 'American Bandstand' stage. We send our prayers out to his family at this difficult time."
Charlie Wilson, the Gap Band
"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."
Neil Portnow, President/CEO, The Recording Academy
"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."
Cary Sherman, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chairman and CEO
He started out as a disc jockey and became a mogal in the most expansive use of the term. He was a terrific guy and beyond his show he was instrumental in setting up tours at a time when there wasn't a touring industry. That all got developed 10 years later. At the time, he was the only guy that had a show on a network so he had tremendous sales power. There were other regional shows that had on music but they would only impact 400 miles. There was no one else out there with a show that could generate the kind of exposure that his show delivered. He always affected a strong personal relationship with acts. He had his Ear to the ground, and he also had a hell of a group of people who worked with him toward finding acts. He wouldn't take on regional acts but he was aware of them and once they started to spread and began hitting the Billboard charts, he would put them on his show. He would take acts as they were about to become established and make them much more popular.
John Sippel, Former Billboard reporter, GM of Monument Records Mercury Records publicity director.