Legendary radio personality, Casey Kasem, has died this morning at 82 after a long illness.
Casey Kasem, the voice of pop radio for nearly four decades, died Sunday at St. Anthony’s Hospital near Seattle. He was 82. His death was confirmed by his daughter Kerri in a Facebook post.
“Early this Father’s Day morning, our dad Casey Kasem passed away surrounded by family and friends,” wrote Kerri. “Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering, we are heartbroken. Thank you for all your love, support and prayers. The world will miss Casey Kasem, an incredible talent and humanitarian; we will miss our Dad. With love, Kerri, Mike and Julie.”
As host of American Top 40, Kasem was the nation’s tastemaker, doling out hit singles and music factoids as he counted down each week’s most popular songs for nearly 35 years. A talent that transcended his medium, Kasem became a household name thanks to his distinctly trademark voice, his aspiring catchphrases and his love and genuine enthusiasm of the music he was broadcasting nationwide every week.
Casey was a radio DJ, he hosted various Top 40 countdown shows beginning in 1970 until 2004 when Ryan Seacrest took over. He hosted a couple of Adult Contemporary countdown’s until he retired from radio for good in 2009. A year later, he retired as the voice of Shaggy on the cartoon, Scooby-Doo Where Are You?
Sadly, the last years of Casey’s life were marred by squabbles between his the children from his first marriage and his current wife, Jean Kasem. After he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Lewy body dementia, there has been a tug of war between the parties over who would make decisions pertaining to Casey’s welfare. The ugly battle has been playing out in tabloid press for the last few months. (It’s also likely not to end as decisions over the funeral and Casey’s estate are to be made.)
Eventually, the children won. Casey had been in a hospital on life support when a judge Tuesday revoked an earlier decision ordering that he be artificially fed and hydrated.
Ryan Seacrest tweeted this message this morning:
Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. We’ll miss you, Casey. pic.twitter.com/cxYhONfrqz
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) June 15, 2014