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Dick Clark celebrates 40th New Year's Eve show

Dick Clark, right, and Ryan Seacrest will celebrate 40 years of history as they host "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2012" live from New York on Dec. 31, 2011. AP Photo/ABC

(CBS/AP) Dick Clark's New Years Eve special was initially created to give young people an alternative to Guy Lombardo's seasonal institution, but now, 40 years later, Mr. Clark's annual show is the institution.

"New Year's Rockin' Eve," with Mr. Clark and Ryan Seacrest, will pay tribute to its own history during its six-hour program Saturday night. The celebration takes up all of prime time on ABC, which includes the ball dropping in New York City's Times Square to mark the beginning of 2012.

The show will also feature 29 separate musical performances.

This year's headliner is Lady Gaga, who gets the prime slot in Times Square in the moments before midnight. Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Hot Chelle Rae, Florence + The Machine, Gym Class Heroes, Nicki Minaj and Taio Cruz are among the other featured performers from New York and Los Angeles. Beyonce is scheduled to perform from London, where she's on tour.

After Mr. Clark suffered a stroke it's harder for him to communicate, but he still makes his annual appearance.

"Dick is still Dick Clark," said Larry Klein, who has been producing the show since 1977. "His communication is a little bit more difficult, but he's still involved in contemporary music. He listens to a lot, he knows a lot, he's still involved in the production. This is very important to him. This is one of his children."

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