LOS ANGELES (AP) - Casey Kasem has died.
The radio broadcaster with the cheerful manner and gentle voice began hosting “American Top 40'' on July 4, 1970, in Los Angeles. The show became a staple for many with Kasem's sentimental “long distance dedications” from listeners and his famous signoff: “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”
Kasem stepped down from “American Top 40'' in 2004 and retired altogether in 2009.
Kasem's voice also was heard in TV cartoons such as “Scooby-Doo,'' in which he played shaggy, and numerous commercials.
In recent years, Kasem was trapped in a feud between his three adult children and his second wife over his health care. Kasem suffered from Parkinson's disease and a form of dementia.
A publicist for Kasem's daughter says the radio broadcaster died early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. He was 82.
Seacrest: Kasem's death a loss for radio listeners
Ryan Seacrest says the death of his radio role model, Casey Kasem, is a loss for radio listeners worldwide.
Seacrest, who took over the countdown from Kasem in 2004, said in a statement that as a child, he'd listen to Kasem's show every weekend “and dream about someday becoming a radio DJ.”
He says Kasem had a distinctive friendly on-air voice and will be greatly missed.
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