Dick Clark Honored By Ryan Seacrest On 'American Idol'

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The late TV great Dick Clark was honored by Ryan Seacrest on Wednesday's "American Idol."

"We can't begin tonight's show without acknowledging the passing of a television pioneer and my dear friend, Dick Clark," Ryan said at the beginning of the two-hour episode. "Without Dick, a show like this would not exist. He will be missed greatly."

PLAY IT NOW: The Stars Remember Dick Clark

Ryan took a moment to mention his "New Year's Rockin' Eve" colleague's family and said he thought Clark would have wanted the show to go on.

"Our thoughts and our prayers go out to his family. I know this guy - he's in a better place, saying, 'Hey, let's get on with the show, okay?' "Seacrest continued. "You got it, boss."

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Dick Clark & His Famous Friends

The "Idol" host later spoke to reporters backstage about the passing of Clark, who died of a heart attack at 82 on Wednesday.

"This is a tremendously emotional day for so many people - fans of music, fans of television, broadcasters and certainly me personally, as Dick Clark was one of those incredible pioneers of our business," Seacrest said. "He taught me how to do television."

Adding, "I studied him as a kid, and I had the fortunate opportunity to work with him for several years on New Year's Eve. And so I am sad and I am grateful for what he has given us, and certainly what he has given me... It was a tough night to do the show. I miss him, and there was nobody like him."

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Stars We Lost In 2012

Copyright 2012 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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