Like the rest of the music world, we were saddened by news of Dick Clark‘s sudden passing on Wednesday (Apr. 18). In taking time to look back on the media pioneer’s unequivocal impact on music, television and entertainment, we found ourselves captivated by Dick’s interviews with the great pop artists of the early days of his 33-year run on American Bandstand. Above, watch the late TV personality’s 1972 interview with teenaged Michael Jackson, in which Clark ominously comments, “This poor man’s life has been dissected completely.” Below see more of his greatest Bandstand interviews, from Madonna to Janet, LL to Prince.
1969: Stevie Wonder says he’s been working on an arrangement of a Beatles song, but he won’t reveal which. Could he have been referring to his 1970 reworking of the Fab Four’s “We Can Work It Out”, which scored him a Grammy nomination?
1975: In this ABBA interview, Benny introduces Frida as his fiancée and Bjorn and Anna as married. Both couples would later divorce. Sad face.
1978: Aretha Franklin — years before she would don her infamous bow hat at President Obama’s inauguration — wears what appears to be a futuristic shower cap for her Bandstand interview.
1980: Following his performance of “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” 19-year-old Prince is interviewed by Dick about the “thousands” of instruments he plays.
1984: Madonna presciently tells Dick her dream is “to rule the world.”
1985: Run-D.M.C. and the late Jam Master J talk about shooting the movie Krush Groove.
1985: During Weird Al Yankovic‘s appearance on Bandstand, the funnyman tells Dick he’s here “to make the world a better place to live in.”
1986: LL Cool J was the show’s first ever hip hop act. We could watch LL hilariously describe English food as “TASTY” on an infinite loop.