Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder Among Stars Remembering Dick Clark

Neil Diamond and Stevie Wonder are among the many famous pop and rock artists remembering the late Dick Clark, who died Wednesday at the age of 82.

Diamond issued a statement about the beloved television host and producer, pointing out that Clark “gave me my first chance to perform on national TV. It was 1966 and I did ‘Cherry Cherry’ on American Bandstand, which was the holy grail of television shows for any rock’n roll artist at that time.”

Diamond also recalled that Clark was responsible for his “first ever real multi-city tour.” The singer/songwriter recalls that he played “32 cities in 28 days” on Clark’s “Where the Action Is” trek. “It marked the beginning of my performing career and I’ll always appreciate the opportunities that he gave me,” Diamond writes, adding, “Dick was very warm and genuine in his appreciation of the music and musicians he presented. He was a true legend and will be greatly missed.”

Wonder, meanwhile, issued his own statement praising Clark for “[bridging] a color gap at a time when there should not have been one, giving musical life to black artists that may not have had a chance.”

He added, “[Clark] gave music freedom — equal opportunity. He wore many hats and all of them incredibly well. His saying was it’s got a beat and you can dance to it. My words are he had a heart of gold, that’s what I know and I’m stickin to it.”

Here are some other celebrity reactions on Twitter and elsewhere to the news of Clark’s passing:

* Barry Manilow: “He was a dear friend, supporting me and my music for all of my years in the business. A great businessman and a true gentleman. An inspiration. My heart is so heavy now.”

* Diana Ross: “I was very sad to hear this news….Dick Clark was a pioneer, he was a music star maker, he was a legend and was my friend. He said that ‘music is the soundtrack of your life.’ Since I was 16, he was always a part of mine.”

* Jermaine Jackson: “Dick Clark played a very special role in our lives, involved in our first concerts as [The Jackson 5]. He was like family. What a man. RIP my friend.”

* Heart’s Ann Wilson: “Back in the 1960s the pop culture catchphrase was ‘Never trust anyone over 30.’ Dick Clark was trustworthy all the way home. Rock on Sir!”

* Aerosmith’s Tom Hamilton: “Very sad to hear about the passing of Dick Clark. We played American Bandstand early in our career. He was great to us. Still appreciate it!”

* Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff: “As fellow Philadelphians, we have admired Dick Clark and the American Bandstandbrand for many years, as it promoted Philadelphia music around the nation. Dick Clark was one of our inspirations for creating the ‘Sound of Philadelphia’ music brand.”

* Berry Gordy, Motown founder: “I’m saddened and devastated over the loss of my dear friend, Dick Clark. We were friends for over 50 years….Dick was always there for me and Motown, even before there was a Motown….Dick did everything with class, style and integrity. He was a true gentleman. His groundbreaking achievements in music and television ensure that his legacy will live on forever.”

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