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American Idol to Remember Dick Clark Tonight

Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest, American Idol Michael Becker / FOX; AP Photo/Jennifer Graylock

There are only a few hours till showtime, but obviously the passing of TV legend Dick Clark is worth scrambling for.

E! News has exclusively learned that American Idol definitely plans to recognize the pioneering American Bandstand host in "as meaningful a way as possible" on tonight's live performance show.

We hear that Ryan Seacrest, who stated earlier today that he is "deeply saddened" by the loss, will say some words of remembrance about his friend and mentor—and they're working on the script right now.

MORE: Ryan Seacrest, Joan Rivers, Neil Patrick Harris & More Remember Dick Clark

Tonight the top seven will be singing two songs apiece, one a Billboard chart hit from 2000 until now and the other a "soul selection" from a previous decade.

Fitting, considering Clark registered in every decade since he interviewed Elvis Presley on the premiere of American Bandstand in 1957.

Seacrest, who has cohosted Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve since 2005 and was named Clark's successor several years ago, called the late producer and host one of his "greatest influences."

"When I joined his show in 2006, it was a dream come true to work with him every New Year's Eve for the last six years," Seacrest said. "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. He was a remarkable host and businessman and left a rich legacy to television audiences around the world. We will all miss him."

Tune into E! News' tribute to Dick Clark tonight at 7 p.m. & 11:30 p.m.

GALLERY: A Legendary Life

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