Music industry legend, Clive Davis is known for being the man with the golden ears. Jump starting the careers of great commercial artists such as Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys and Usher, Davis has a knack for talent.
Let me tell you a thing or two about Kelly Clarkson. Kelly Clarkson is a legend in the making. Taking the title as the first American Idol, fan favorite Kelly Clarkson is down to earth, relatable, and massively talented. Sure, a lot of her back catalogue is light, pop-rock and doesn’t even begin to prove how strong, thick, effortless and beautiful her voice is, but if you listen to tracks like “Because of You,” “Sober,” Beautiful Disaster (acoustic),” or most of “My December” you will know what I’m referring to if you don’t know already.
Kelly and Clive had a very public spat regarding Kelly’s “My December” album before and after it was released. Clive felt there weren’t any pop hits on it and felt the writing and material itself was weak. Kelly fought hard for the release of this work and it ultimately became a cult fan favorite. Clive is now releasing an autobiography on his professional and personal life. In one chapter Clive refers to his time working with Kelly and cites that they had differences and she cried in his office. Kelly released a statement to her fans telling her side of the story and she wasn’t too happy. Then Clive replied back and now I want to buy the damn book and I played Kelly Clarkson’s Greatest Hits in my car yesterday. Marketing at its finest.
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!
As anyone who has read “The Soundtrack of My Life” knows, I think Kelly Clarkson is a tremendous vocal talent and performer. In the book, I provide an in-depth look at our years together during which we shared major multi-platinum success, as well as a few creative differences. 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. At the same time I wish, and will always wish, Kelly’s talent and her career to soar to ever new heights.