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 411mania » Music » News

UPDATED: Radio Legend Casey Kasem Passes Away
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 06.15.2014

UPDATE: Ryan Seacrest, who took over for Casey Kasem on American Top 40 in 2004, has issued a statement regarding the radio icon's passing. Secreast's statement reads:

Casey had a distinctive friendly on-air voice, and he was just as affable and nice if you had the privilege to be in his company. He'll be greatly missed by all of us.

In addition, Sirius XM has begun a twenty-four hour marathon of Kasem's American Top 40 countdowns that began at 11 AM today and runs until tomorrow morning on their '70s on 7 station. Sirius XM VP of music programming Kid Kelly said in a statement, "Casey Kasem was the undisputed king of weekly music countdown shows and we will miss him. He was a giant of radio for decades, becoming for listeners as notable as the music and artists he played while the influence of his countdowns on listeners and artists can't be underestimated. He was a positive, friendly companion on radio, delivering perfectly crafted information that tied real listeners to their favorite artists. We've been honored to carry his Countdowns on our 70s channel for years and we hope to continue; his voice and approach is one of a kind and generations of listeners have loved that he has been their musical guide."

ORIGINAL: A true icon of radio has passed on. Casey Kasem, who the voice of the Weekly Top 40 countdown for nearly forty years, passed away on Sunday morning of complications from dementia. Kasem passed away at St. Anthony's Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington. Daughter Keri Kasem's publicist posted the following to her Facebook page this morning:

Early this Father's Day morning, our dad Casey Kasem passed away surrounded by family and friends. 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.

Kasem was born Kemal Amin Kasem in Detroit, Michigan and began his radio work as a DJ and radio actor for Armed Forces Radio during the Korean War. After the war he started working at radio stations around the country and grew to prominence with his style of putting pieces of trivia about the musicians he was spinning records for in his introductions. He debuted the American Top 40 in 1970 with a three-hour show, which grew to four hours in 1978 and was based off of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Kasem's Top 40 countdown became a staple of weekly radio, with listeners tuning in every week to hear what songs were topping the charts. When he left the show in 1988 due to a contract dispute and started a new show, Casey's Top 40, it's safe to say that American Top 40 wasn't the same and host Shadoe Stevens only lasted six years before ABC gave it up. Kasem took the American Top 40 name back in 1998 and ran it until 2004, when he passed the torch to Ryan Seacrest. He continued to host Casey's Countdown and Casey's Hot 20 until 2009.

Kasem was also known for his work as the voice of Shaggy on Scooby-Doo from 1969 all the way through 2009's home video Scooby Doo! And The Samurai Sword. He appeared in some film work as well, with roles in low-budget exploitation flicks like Wild Wheels in 1969 and 1971's The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant. He hosted a TV version of American Top 40 titled America's Top 10 from 1980 through 1989.

On behalf of 411, our condolences to the family, fans and friends of Mr. Kasem. Radio will never be the same without him.


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