Ryan Seacrest hosts first 'New Year's Rockin' Eve' after Dick Clark's passing

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Ryan Seacrest.

This year marks the first year that Dick Clark is no longer here with us for his namesake New Year's Eve special, "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve." Still, the legendary TV host's presence was felt very strongly among friends and fans alike. 

The show began with a two-hour tribute to the late Clark, who passed away in April 2012.

Hosts Jenny McCarthy, Fergie and Ryan Seacrest all reminisced about some of their favorite memories with the TV legend and counted down the top 30 artists that Clark helped discover.

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Clark is credited with helping launch the careers of James Brown, Cyndi Lauper and even The Go-Go's. 

Needless to say, when the festivities kicked off this year, host Ryan Seacrest had a lot of weight resting on his shoulders. Although he's been a part of the show since 2005, this was the first year Seacrest was forced to go it alone.

When asked about hosting the gig without his legendary mentor, Ryan told Billboard.com, "'I just want to make Dick Clark proud."

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If there is anyone qualified to carry the torch, it's definitely Ryan. The host certainly has the resume and he has that charisma where he is able to talk to viewers as if each and every one of them is one of his friends, which ironically is exactly what he said about Clark.

But Ryan made no bones about missing his mentor. He paid a heartfelt homage to the legend, even tweeting during the show, "Tonight is dedicated to the man who started it all... Dick Clark".

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While the evening could have easily taken on a very somber tone, Seacrest somehow managed to create an upbeat show that combined the spirit of "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" with a celebration of the late great's life.

Justin Bieber, Neon Trees, Flo Rida, Pitbull, PSY, Carly Rae Jepsen and Taylor Swift all performed as part of the show.

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