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Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles Opens Up About the Impact Dick Clark Had

Jennifer Nettles, Dick Clark
Jason Merritt / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Dick Clark may not have been a country star himself, but the ‘American Bandstand’ legend had quite an impact on every genre of music. Sugarland‘s Jennifer Nettles — who performed a few ‘Rockin’ New Year’s Eve’ shows with Clark — recently opened up about why Dick Clark should be a celebrated American icon for all music lovers, especially in light of his death.

Clark wasn’t known for being a spectacular music critic. But in a world where music critics prevail and permeate most music scenes, Nettles argues that Dick Clark’s love for the lighter side of music is infinitely important.

“There are times when we need stuff to feel good, and that’s OK,” the Sugarland star told Zap2It. “Everything doesn’t have to be the height of critical acclaim and push and provoke people, though that definitely is a function of art in my opinion. I like that he was able to celebrate the other side of that, too.”

Nettles also waxed nostalgic on the fact that as an American radio and television personality, Clark really knew himself — and she admires that.

“I’ll speak directly to one, although I’m paraphrasing him: ‘I know what I work in is fluff. It is feel-good stuff that may not be the most deep or cutting-edge,’ ” Nettles said, summarizing the late icon. “He did use the word ‘fluff’ in talking about some of the shows like ‘American Bandstand,’ the New Year’s specials, just a myriad of productions he was responsible for. I love that he knew himself in that way.”

Fluff music or not, Clark singlehandedly made rock ‘n’ roll safe for a generation of Americans who hadn’t yet experienced the foot-tapping beats of rock music. Nettles will mentor on ABC’s singing-competition series ‘Duets,’ which premieres on May 24. She said she thinks that Clark’s longstanding legacy will impact the show greatly.

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