Music industry legend Clive Davis was having a moment. His new memoir The Soundtrack of My Life was published today, and he's getting accolades for opening up about his bisexuality in the book. But one artist isn't singing his praises. Kelly Clarkson says Davis bullied her early in her career and wrote lies about his involvement in her post-American Idol music in his new book.
Until this afternoon, Davis spent his day watching the praise roll in like so many shiny Grammy statues. To promote his new book, he appeared on Katie Couric's talk show, frankly discussing his attraction to people of both genders and his current relationship with a man. Usher even came by to show his support for the 80-year-old industry veteran who helped cement the careers of Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, and many other chart-topping stars. Here's just a small sampling of the positive vibes being sent Davis' way on social media:
Peace to Clive Davis. Salute!— Elliott Wilson (@ElliottWilson) February 19, 2013
I want to wake up my husband to tell him Clive Davis was bisexual. That's probably mean.— Kathleen Schmidt (@Bookgirl96) February 19, 2013
So proud of Clive Davis finally coming out and stating his sexual preference! Congrats!!!— Jonathan Jaxson (@jonathanjaxson) February 19, 2013
But Davis' coming-out wasn't what grabbed Kelly Clarkson's attention. After getting a chance to read passages from The Soundtrack of My Life concerning her, Clarkson took to Twitter to dispel the "misinformation" about Davis' involvement in her first three records. She takes issue with his portrayal of her as an emotionally high-strung artist who couldn't handle reasonable input on her 2004 album Breakaway. Clarkson writes:
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. [The song's producers] 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.
She also says that he bullied her, belittling her songwriting talents and telling her that her third album My December flopped because of her increased creative control. She says his criticism of another Breakaway track, the highly personal ballad "Because of You," brought her to tears:
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.
Davis hasn't responded to Clarkson's allegations yet. In the past he's kept mum about their rocky professional relationship, which resulted in a public feud in 2007. "I am not a fan [of Davis]," Clarkson told USA Today at the time. "I do respect him, but I don't want to barbecue with him. We don't braid each other's hair. And, despite the rumors, he is nowhere near a father figure." She later apologized for her remarks.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.