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Although the show must go on, it did so with a heavy heart. Ryan Seacrest kicked off American Idol last night with a tribute to his mentor, Dick Clark, who sadly passed away yesterday from a heart attack.

OK! NEWS: DICK CLARK DEAD AT 82 FROM A HEART ATTACK

Ryan stated, "We can't begin tonight's show without acknowledging the passing of a television pioneer and my dear friend Dick Clark."

Ryan also pointed out that without Dick, "a show like this would not exist." He said he "will be missed greatly." Then he quipped, "I know he's in a better place saying, 'Hey, let's get on with the show.'" Ryan added, "You got it, boss." 

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After the show, Ryan addressed the press and got choked up. An insider told OK! he said, "Hello, sorry we are here under these circumstances, but thank you guys for being here, this is a tremendously emotional day for so many people."

Ryan continued, "Fans of music, fans of television, broadcasters and certainly me personally as Dick Clark was one of those incredible pioneers of our business. He taught me how to do television, I studied him as a kid and I had the fortunate opportunity to work with them for several years on New Year's Eve, so I'm sad and I'm grateful for what he is given all of us and certainly what he has given to me. It was a tough night at the beginning of the show, but we will miss him and there will be nobody like him. Thank you guys very much. Thank you."

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