Everyone loves a scrap between celebrities! There's nothing quite like these supposedly perfect individuals putting aside their "professionalism" and taking digs at each other in a public arena. This week's beef isn't really new, but more a reopening of old wounds inflicted years back.
Enter combatants: Clive Davis and Kelly Clarkson.
Clive Davis threw the first Hadouken with the release of his memoir, The Soundtrack of My Life. Pushing 80, the record exec, who is credited for the success of many a singer from Whitney Houston to Carly Simon, decided 2013 was the right time to bring his story to the unwashed masses (that's you and me, in case you were confused) in book form.
Having been responsible for shaping as many careers as he has, it's unsurprising (totally expected) that Mr Davis would be spilling the tea on one or two of his protégés to increase the likelihood of his book being a hit. But none appear to have come off as bad for it as Kelly Clarkson has. In fact he dedicated a whole chapter just to the star- lucky her!
So what did he say? Well, he claims the singer was prone to being temperamental if she didn't get her way, and that the supposed flopage of her second album, My December, was because she refused to listen to his sage advice (and criticism) on her skills as a lyrict.
If that wasn't harsh enough, Clive finished off with a K.O inducing Dragon Punch by saying that he probably wouldn't have even signed the Since You've Been Gone singer if not for her winning American Idol!
Winner: Clive Davis
Round Two:Kelly Clarkson, having read the exerts, wasn't too thrilled with the way the tale was being told. So being the feisty scrapper she is, launched a very public counter attack of kicks (of the Spinning Bird and Hundred foot variety) in the direction of Mr Davis with an open letter posted on the Interweb:
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.[ Source]
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!
Way to go, that lady!! Talk about shedding a different light on events!
Winner: Kelly Clarkson
Round Three"Final bout":
Clive Davis, unperturbed by the attack, stuck to the original story, but now reinforced its legitimacy by claiming "individuals" present during those meetings could verify his words. Individuals paid by yourself, Mr Davis? However, he ended his statement with some kind words about Kelly, which seems- right now- to have put a stop to this spat
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.Leaving aside who was telling the truth- FYI I'm leaning towards Kelly Clarkson- this controversy has only helped Clive and his memoirs. The bisexual revelation, that was meant to generate the most publicity for the book, failed to cause half the commotion that this exchange of words has. So, although it hasn't harmed Kelly Clarkson, in fact it's made me respect her more, it has definitely helped publicise and generate interest in the svengali's life story, which is why I have to give overall victory to him. Heck, even I want to read The Soundtrack of My Life now, if only to see who else he slags off!
The whole thing does give Clarkson's Catch My Breath a different spin, though!
Winner (with two victories to one): Clive Davis