(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) Dick Clark with co-host Ryan Seacrest during his annual "New Year's Rockin' Eve" show from T
Ron Wolfson

On last night's (April 19) American Idol, a visibly shaken Ryan Seacrest spoke about the death of friend and mentor Dick Clark, who passed away yesterday at the age of 82.

"We can't begin tonight's show without acknowledging the passing of a television pioneer and my dear friend Dick Clark," said Seacrest. "Without Dick, a show like this would not exist. He will be missed greatly. Our thoughts and our prayers go out to his family. I know that he's in a better place, saying, 'Hey let's get on with the show.' You got it, boss!"

Yesterday, the radio and TV personality, who co-hosted Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve since 2006, issued a statement detailing his admiration for the pioneering music and TV icon. “I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark," wrote Seacrest. "He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life. I idolized him from the start, and I was graced early on in my career with his generous advice and counsel...He was smart, charming, funny and always a true gentleman. I learned a great deal from him, and I'll always be indebted to him for his faith and support of me.”

Earlier in the day, President Obama issued a statement saying, in part, "With American Bandstand, he introduced decades' worth of viewers to the music of our times. He reshaped the television landscape forever as a creative and innovative producer. And, of course, for 40 years, we welcomed him into our homes to ring in the New Year."

Related: Dick Clark's American Bandstand: Watch 5 Unforgettable Moments