AP PHOTOS: Dick Clark, America's top pop host

By The Associated Press | April 18, 2012 | 8:18 PM EDT

FILE - In this Jan. 24, 1993 file photo, singer Michael Jackson and American Music Awards executive producer Dick Clark go over the script during rehearsals for The American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Clark, the television host who helped bring rock `n' roll into the mainstream on "American Bandstand," died Wednesday, April 18, 2012 of a heart attack. He was 82. (AP Photo/file)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — In his long career as host and producer, Dick Clark was the TV connection between pop music, its stars and eager fans. With camera-friendly, forever-youthful good looks and a broadcaster's poise, Clark held court on "American Bandstand" and "New Year's Rockin' Eve."

He brought rock 'n' roll into U.S. homes on "Bandstand" as a savvy messenger who knew what teenagers wanted and could ease the concerns of wary parents over unfamiliar tunes. And he made the corny traditions of New Year's a bit cooler with rock stars on hand.

But it was his business acumen that turned Clark into a major force in music and television. As executive producer of the American Music Awards, he provided a showcase for artists including Michael Jackson and Christina Aguilera. His Dick Clark Productions also brought movies, game and music shows, beauty contests and more to TV, including "The $25,000 Pyramid" and "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes."

Clark died Wednesday after suffering a heart attack at a hospital in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 82.