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Entries in Clive Davis (4)

Tuesday
Feb192013

Kelly Clarkson Slams Clive Davis for Spreading 'False Information' About Her

Kevin Mazur/WireImage via ABC(NEW YORK) -- Kelly Clarkson and legendary record executive Clive Davis had a major falling out a few years ago over the direction of her music, and now she's taking issue with Davis' description of their working relationship, which appears in his new memoir, The Soundtrack of My Life.

In a lengthy posting, Kelly accuses Davis of "spreading false information about" her and her music.  She writes, "I refuse to be bullied and I just have to clear up his memory lapses and misinformation for myself and for my fans. It feels like a violation."

In his memoir, Davis contends that Kelly burst into "hysterical sobbing" in his office because she claimed he was forcing her to put two songs she "hated" -- "Since U Been Gone" and "Behind These Hazel Eyes" -- on her second album, Breakaway.  Davis writes that he explained to Kelly that those two songs would be huge hits, and they absolutely had to be on her album if she wanted to take her career to the next level.  Of course, Davis was later proven correct.

But Kelly remembers it quite differently.  "First, he says I burst into 'hysterical sobbing' in his office when he demanded Since You Been Gone be on my album. Not true at all," she writes. "His stories and songs are mixed up."  While she says she did want the mix on "Since U Been Gone" changed, she writes, "I couldn't be more proud of the life of that song. I resent him dampening that song in any way."

She did cry in his office, she says, but it was because Davis "hated" her song "Because of You."  In fact, Kelly says, "He told me verbatim that I was a sh**ty writer who should be grateful for the gifts that he bestows upon me...[that] the song didn't rhyme and how I should just shut up and sing."  Kelly says she continued to "fight" for the song, because it was so personal, until the record label gave in.   It became a big hit.

Davis, however, denies this story about "Because of You" in his memoir, saying, "I loved the song from first listen and felt that it delivered on the promise that Kelly could indeed write hits."  He adds, "It is well known that we trumpeted it to everyone in [the record company] promotion [department]."  He writes that he has no idea why Kelly -- who has in the past accused Davis of hating "Because of You" -- believes otherwise.

Kelly next focuses on Davis' statements in his memoir about her album My December.  She says that he claims the album wasn't successful because she co-wrote it and because it didn't have "pop hits."  Kelly points out that the record went platinum -- "hardly a huge failure" -- and produced a top 10 hit in "Never Again."  

But Kelly says that in his memoir, Davis "doesn't mention how he stood up in front of his company at a convention and belittled me and my music and completely sabotaged the entire project. It never had a chance to reach its full potential."  She also claims no other singles were released from the album.

Davis spends quite a bit of time discussing My December in his book.  He does say that he warned Kelly and her team that the record would not be successful because it didn't have any big hits on it, except for "Never Again."  He claims it had nothing to do with who wrote the songs: he says they tested all of the tracks with focus groups, and the only song anyone liked was "Never Again."

Davis also says that Kelly's lawyers were demanding she be paid ten million dollars for My December, which is why he wanted to make sure it contained hits.  When Kelly and her team wouldn't budge on the material, he says he promised to promote the album and the single.  While "Never Again" went top 10, Davis says three other singles the label released didn't make the top 100.  He acknowledges the album went platinum, but compared to the six million copies that Breakaway sold, it was a disappointment.

Kelly concludes her statement by saying, "Anyway, I love my job. I love my music. I love my fans. I love my label and all of my professional relationships…now. And I am grateful for Clive for teaching me to know the difference."

"Growing up is awesome," notes the singer. "Because you learn you don't have to cower to anyone -- even Clive Davis."

Clive has since responded to Kelly's accusations with an extended message posted on TwitLonger. Calling Kelly a "tremendous vocal talent and performer," Clive writes, "I am truly very sorry that she has decided to take issue with what I know to be an accurate depiction of our time together. Before the book was published, I had every fact checked with five independent individuals who were present on a daily basis throughout it all. The chapter as it is written was thoroughly verified by each and every one of them. I stand by the chapter as written in my book."

He concludes the message by wishing "Kelly's talent and her career to soar to ever new heights."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Feb122012

Under Clive Davis' Guidance, Whitney Houston Became a Superstar

Clive Davis and Whitney Houston (Larry Busacca/WireImage)(LOS ANGELES) -- Family, friends, fans and music heavyweights mourned the sudden death of music icon Whitney Houston Saturday, and her lifelong mentor Clive Davis was no exception.

Davis and Houston had a relationship that surpassed that of the typical singer and music executive. The legendary producer discovered Houston as a teen, nurtured her and shaped her into a superstar and one of the world's best-selling artists of all time. He maintained a strong hand in her career and life, attempting to keep his music prodigy with the megawatt voice and incredible range on track during her notorious bouts with drugs and alcohol, and tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown, and later maneuvered her many comebacks.

Houston was found dead only hours before she was set to attend Davis' annual pre-Grammy's party at the Beverly Hilton hotel, the same event where she was introduced to the music world in 1983, nearly three decades ago.

Davis dedicated the night to the renowned singer, tearfully toasting Houston in front of a star-studded audience of her peers, who memorialized the singer's extraordinary career.

"I am personally devastated by the loss of someone who has meant so much to me for so many years. Whitney was so full of life," Davis said Saturday night. "Whitney was a beautiful person and she had a talent beyond compare. She graced this stage with her regal presence so many times, giving so many performances here over the years. So, simply put, Whitney would have wanted the music to go on."

Davis, a mogul who shaped the careers of music legends including Houston, Alicia Keys, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Carlos Santana, Barry Manilow, Jennifer Hudson and more, first discovered a 19-year-old Whitney Houston in her gospel-singer mother's cabaret act and introduced her soulful sound to the world.

"The time that I first saw her singing in her mother's act in a club called Sweet Waters right here in Manhattan ... it was such a stunning impact," Davis told Good Morning America anchor Diane Sawyer in a July 2009 interview. "To hear this young girl breathe such fire into this song, I mean, it really sent the proverbial tingles up my spine."

Davis, known for his eye for talent, signed Houston to Arista Records. He introduced the world to her sound on The Merv Griffin Show in 1985, but it took nearly took two years to release her self-titled debut album.

Houston's first single You Give Good Love went to number one on the Billboard charts. Davis enlisted the best of the best producers and songwriters in the business to craft ballads that showcased Houston's powerful range and vocal emotion. Under Davis' watchful eye came a string of seven number one hits, breaking a record set by the Beatles.

"When you are breaking records like that, you really have to pinch yourself," Davis told Sawyer in 2009.

Davis was intimately involved in Houston's career and foray into film. While Houston was making the 1992 film, The Bodyguard, with Kevin Costner, Davis saw a screener that he felt didn't showcase Houston's powerful pipes. He told Diane Sawyer in 2009 how he brought up the issue with the director.

The director was fired and the film was changed in line with Davis' vision.

WATCH: Kevin Costner talks about Whitney Houston in a 2009 interview

 

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Though Houston reigned for more than a decade in film and song, with eight platinum albums and 55 million records sold in America, much of her enormous success fell away as her marriage to Bobby Brown descended into jealousy, rage and substance abuse. She endured multiple stints in rehab and divorced Brown in 2007 after 15 years of marriage.

But the years of drug abuse had taken their toll. The star's voice diminished, album sales declined and she was rumored to be near death because she looked so thin.

Davis orchestrated Houston's 2009 comeback after seven years of silence with the album, "I Look to You," which he called a labor of love. It sold 304,000 copies in its first seven days on the market, sending Houston back to the top of the charts and giving her the best debut week of her career.

Houston "still stands for the best of songwriting, the best of singing -- and we know the public wants it," he said in 2009. "There is a song on this album which is called 'I Didn't Know My Own Strength,' and it really speaks for Whitney. She tumbled but she didn't crumble."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Feb122012

A Timeline of Whitney Houston's Final Days

Flowers and candles are left by fans of US singer Whitney Houston on the street outside the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California late on Feb. 11, 2012. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images) (LOS ANGELES) -- The sudden death of singing icon Whitney Houston has left family, friends and fans reeling as they piece together the singer's last days and look for clues as to what may have happened. Here is a timeline of the music legend's final days:

Thursday, Feb. 9:

Houston was a guest at Grammy nominee Kelly Price's party, "Kelly Price and Friends Unplugged: For the Love of R&B Grammy Party" at the nightclub, Tru Hollywood.

Houston was there with her 19-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown and performed a duet with Price in the early hours of Friday morning, in what would become her last performance.

At the party, Houston reportedly clashed with singer and former X Factor finalist Stacy Francis, who had credited Houston as her inspiration and had been pulled onstage to sing with her in 1999 during a concert, according to The Hollywood Reporter.


SLIDESHOW: Whitney Houston's Final Day in Pictures


Houston and Francis were re-introduced at the party and all seemed fine until R&B star Ray J, who had dated Houston on-and-off for several years, entered the conversation.

"Whitney just got belligerent," a witness told The Hollywood Reporter. "Ray was trying to defend Stacy, telling Whitney, 'Stacy's family!', but Whitney was feeling crowded out and hands were raised."

The witness said that no punches were ultimately thrown, but that it was a tense exchange.

Photos taken later that night showed Houston disheveled, agitated and bloated as she left. She reportedly had to be escorted from the club with blood dripping down her leg and scratches on her wrist.

Friends said she was simply sweating from the performance.

"There was nothing wrong. She was singing, she was dancing, she was laughing, she was playing," Price said. "I'm going to remember her just like that because that's the Whitney I always had the pleasure of being around."

Friday, Feb. 10:

Houston reportedly spent Friday night at the bar of the Beverly Hilton hotel with a group of friends. She was at the bar for a long time, drinking and being very loud, according to TMZ.

Houston was staying at the hotel to attend music industry executive Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy bash. It is the same event where she was introduced to the record industry and the world nearly three decades ago.

WATCH: Whitney Houston talks with ABC's Diane Sawyer in a 2002 interview

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Saturday, Feb. 11:

Houston had been planning to attend friend and mentor Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday night.

At some point in the morning or early afternoon, Houston's cousin, the singer Dionne Warwick, spoke to Houston over the phone to make sure they were seated at the same table at Davis' party. At this point, there were no signs of trouble, according to TMZ.

Around 3:15 p.m., Houston spoke to her mother, Cissy Houston, and everything still seemed to be fine.

Less than 30 minute later, at 3:43 p.m., someone from Houston's entourage called hotel security when they found an unresponsive Houston in her hotel room bathtub.

Police, who were already on the scene in preparation for the event later in the evening, arrived at Houston's room two minute later.

Officials tried to resuscitate the 48-year-old singer with CPR but were unable to revive her. Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m.

Beverly Hills police Lt. Mark Rosen said she was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. He said there were "no obvious signs of foul play and no obvious signs of a cause of death."

Los Angeles coroner's office officials left with Houston's body around 1:50 a.m. The coroner's office declined to speculate how Houston died when asked about reports that she may have drowned.

The Clive Davis party went on as planned, with Davis saying that is what Houston would have wanted. But it was a surreal scene as celebrities reacted to the death on the red carpet with the Beverly Hills crime lab van parked outside, and as paparazzi camped out waiting for Houston's body to emerge.

An autopsy is expected to be conducted Sunday or Monday, according to ABC News' Los Angeles station KABC.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Mar262011

'Queen of Soul' Celebrates Birthday in Royal Fashion

Jeff Fusco/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin celebrated her birthday in royal fashion Friday night, in a star-studded birthday party in New York City.

Franklin celebrated her 69th birthday late into Friday night at a posh New York hotel, and was on both the giving and receiving ends of live performances at the bash.

Among some of the big names in attendance at the swanky gathering were, Clive Davis, Smokey Robinson and Tony Bennett, according to published reports.

Franklin appeared slimmed-down and upbeat, having survived a mystery ailment and surgery.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio