As you may be well aware, music industry bean counter Clive Davis is currently doing the big publicity push for his new memoir, The Soundtrack of My Life. In it, the 80-year-old Davis comes out of the closet. Sorta. He’s taken lovers of both the male and female persuasion, and he considers himself a bisexual. It’s a state of being, he told Nightline‘s Cynthia McFadden last night, which is unfairly dismissed, and should be studied further. Here to now, this has been the big news from the book. That is, until about half an hour ago. That’s when Kelly Clarkson took to the internet to say Clive Davis lied in the book about her career. And you know what? We believe her.
The two already have a pretty thorny history. Clarkson, fresh off her American Idol win way back in the Jurassic era, was contractually obligated to sign on the dotted line with Davis. Very green, Clarkson didn’t have much say or to say on her debut, on which the songs were picked for her by Davis. As Clarkson matured along with her art she, quite naturally, wanted more control. Davis wouldn’t give. The two had a public falling out.
Now, in Soundtrack, Davis paints a picture of the war that went on behind the curtain, and — SURPRISE — in his version he is the All Knowing Exec Who Knows Best and Clarkson is a crying crybaby who cries. Only Clarkson ain’t havin’ it. Here’s her version of events:
So I just heard Clive Davis is releasing a memoir and spreading false information about me and my music. 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. Growing up is awesome because you learn you don’t have to cower to anyone – even Clive Davis.
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. His stories and songs are mixed up. I did want more guitars added to the original demo and Clive did not. Max, Luke and I still fought for the bigger sound and we prevailed and I couldn’t be more proud of the life of that song. I resent him dampening that song in any way.
But, yes, I did cry in his office once. I cried after I played him a song I had written about my life called “Because Of You.” I cried because he hated it and told me verbatim that I was a “sh*tty writer who should be grateful for the gifts that he bestows upon me.” He continued on about how the song didn’t rhyme and how I should just shut up and sing. This was devastating coming from a man who I, as a young girl, considered a musical hero and was so honored to work with.
But I continued to fight for the song and the label relented. And it became a worldwide hit. He didn’t include that in the book.
He also goes on to say My December wasn’t successful because I co-penned the album and it didn’t have “pop hits”. Well, first let me say, I’ve co-penned many of my “pop hits.” Secondly, My December went platinum (It sold 20,000 less than All I Ever Wanted which followed My December.) Hardly a huge failure. Never Again, the ONLY single they released in the US from that record was a Top 10 hit. I am very proud of that and I have my fans to thank. But, again, what’s most interesting about his story is what he leaves out: He 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 it’s full potential. My December was an album I needed to make for myself for many reasons and the fact that I was so completely disregarded and disrespected was so disheartening, there really aren’t words to explain….
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.
Cheers to another amazing year! And, as always, thanks for listening!
Good for you, Kelly. Good for you.