TV host and producer Dick Clark has died at 82. He passed away today (April 18) in Santa Monica, Calif., after suffering a massive heart attack, according to his publicist. In recent years, Clark's appearance in the spotlight was limited because of a stroke he suffered in 2004.

While many people may think of the annual 'New Year's Rockin' Eve' bash at the mention of Clark's name, in many respects, he was a rock 'n' roll pioneer, as he helped bring rock music to the masses.

Under Clark, the Philadelphia-based TV show 'American Bandstand' went national in 1957. At that point, the show was a vehicle for him to introduce the mainstream to a whole mess of rock acts. Over the years, his guests ranged from early rockers like Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry in the 1950s to Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Stryper in the '80s. Yes, Stryper. The Christian metal band once appeared on 'Bandstand.'

Overall, the show was critical to the history of rock music as it showed parents what their kids were interested in and lifted some of the stigma that was originally associated with the genre.

Upon hearing the news of Clark's death, Disturbed frontman David Draiman issued a tweet about Clark's passing, mentioning his famed status as the world's oldest teenager, since he never seemed to age and retained a youthful appearance deep into his life.

 

 

Rest in Peace, Dick Clark. The rock world owes you its deepest gratitude.