The biography has already generated controversy. Singer, Kelly Clarkson, lambasted Davis for his portrayal of her. While debating songs, “Since U Been Gone,” and, “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” Davis wrote that Clarkson, “burst into hysterical sobbing.”
Clarkson responded that Davis was mixed up and that she learned that she didn’t have to cower to Davis.
Davis countered that he had five people, who were there at the time, read that chapter and they verified his version of the events.
He further stated, “Despite our different memory issues, the bigger issue is she is growing and she will have a major career.”
Perhaps the biggest revelation in the book was Davis’ admission that he is bisexual. There has been a lot of press over that announcement.
This is Davis’ second biography. In 1975, he published, “Clive Davis: Inside the Record Business.”
In the new book, Davis published several letters that he had written to Whitney Houston trying to get her to clean herself up. Davis is largely credited with discovering Houston and setting her on the trail to super stardom. Houston’s death devastated Davis.
Sometimes known as the, “Man with the golden ears,” Davis has signed and mentored many artists who went on to stellar careers. After seeing Janis Joplin front Big Brother and the Holding Company at the Monterey Pop festival in 1967, he signed Joplin to Columbia Records. Other acts he brought to Columbia were Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith and Earth, Wind & Fire.
In 1974, Davis founded Arista Records. He not only signed Houston, but another big seller, Barry Manilow. He also helped the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, find a new audience in the 1980’s. Davis also helped revive Carlos Santana’s career.
He stepped down from Arista in 2000 and founded J Records. He continued discovering great artists such as Luther Vandross and Alicia Keys. That same year, Patti Smith inducted him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his, “contributions to the industry.”
He became president and CEO of RCA Music Group, which includes J and Arista Records. He has produced records for both Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson. With mergers and restructuring, Davis is now chief creative officer for Sony Music Entertainment.
Davis doesn’t seem to slow down even though he’s approaching his eighth decade. He is still active in several charities. He donated $5 million to New York University’s Department of Recorded Music and is an advisor to the department’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.