Family and fans remember Casey Kasem
Gig Harbor, WA (CNN) - One of America’s legendary pop culture icons is dead. Casey Kasem of American Top 40 died at the age of 82 Sunday morning. He will be remembered for his warm radio delivery, but the final weeks of his life were shrouded in turmoil.
Casey Kasem: "This is Casey Kasem in Hollywood."
His voice made him radio royalty and a pop culture icon.
Casey Kasem: "The Police with the number one song in the land last week, "Every Breath You Take."
For 39 years Casey Kasem counted down the nations hit songs as the friendly host of "American Top 40."
Casey Kasem: "We'll find out as we count down the 40 hottest hits in the USA."
Born to Lebanese parents in Detroit, Kasem was passionate about music and radio. He hit it big as creator and host of "American Top 40,” and later branching out into television with American Top Ten in 1980. His radio countdown featured little known facts about the recording artists before each song and later in 1978 Kasem started his signature long distance dedications that often tugged at the listener's heart strings.
Shadoe Stevens - Radio Host: "His whole approach to life was friendly and personable and you got the sense that he cared."
He lent his trademark voice to commercial ads and cartoon characters including the voice of Shaggy in Scooby-Doo. Kasem has been honored not only for his work in entertainment but also for his charitable causes. But in his final days his achievements were overshadowed by family turmoil.
Kerri Kasem - Daughter of Casey Kasem: "He's confused, he's probably very afraid and he's not getting proper medical care."
Diagnosed with Lewy Body Disease his children battled their stepmother Jean Kasem for months over his medical care. His daughter Kerri Kasem gained temporary conservatorship over her father. Last week, when doctors advised her Kasem was close to death she halted further life-sustaining treatment- including infusions of food, water, and medicine - abiding, she says, by her father's wishes. Something jean disputed.
Jean Kasem: "My husband is a fighter. He would have never, ever wanted this."
Long after the legal battles are settled and he is laid to rest, one thing is sure to remain: Casey Kasem will be remembered as a legendary voice of American radio.
Casey Kasem: "My name is Casey Kasem reminding you to keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."
His daughter Kerri Kasem said on Facebook Sunday morning. Her dad was surrounded by family and friends. Adding, quote, "Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering, we are heartbroken."