Wednesday 20 February 2013

[Street Fight] Kelly Clarkson Versus Clive Davis

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.

Round One:
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.

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!

[ Source]

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.

-Clive Davis

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



  1. Since this all inspired as little interest for Clive's memoirs as I had before this spat. Namely zero...But I love Kelly feistiness...for me Kelly wins. :-)

  2. HAHA, "I just have to clear up his memory lapses". Such great shade. I always saw Clive as a music industry snake, so I'm going with Kelly.

  3. You go, Kelly girl!

  4. I don't know who said what and who is being more truthful but I'm going to err to the side of Kelly. It was a fool who once said "Players don't win championships - organizations do." of course that was Chicago Bulls exec Jerry Krause saying that in the midst of the Michael Jordan era. The Bulls have never won a championship since MJ left. Such is life in the music industry. Clive Davis takes credit for Whitney Houston?I For what?! Signing her? I could have done that! Does he really believe that these singers wouldn't have done as well without him? Please... Singers and musicians make songs, not executives!

  5. OMG "Because Of You" was my song back in the day!!! It helped me through some rough times. Shame on Clive Davis for telling Kelly that was stupid song!!

  6. Excuse me but I am about to rant till the cows come home.

    Concerning Round 1: Regarding the success of My December, the album was not a "flop" by many commercial standards. Yes, compared to the 6 million copies Breakaway sold, My December did not do nearly as well. However, the album went PLATINUM, that is a massive accomplishment for any album, especially during this era of dragging album sales. The album also only had ONE top-ten hit. While that may be a failure in itself, it shows how her album sales do not need a hit single to bouey its sales. Her "Stronger" album, which has been regarded as a success, sold almost EXACTLY the same as My December. It's ridiculous that Clive felt the need to pin this "failure" on Kelly and criticize every aspect of it. And was it REALLY necessary to say he wouldn't have signed Kelly? He is such a hypocrite because later he PRAISES her vocal talent in Round 3. It also makes him look just plain stupid for saying he wouldn't sign her, since the woman has sold 26 MILLION ALBUMS AND 30 MILLION SINGLES. Apparently he cant recognize talent when he sees it.

    Round 2: Kelly just squashes him. She has always stuck the story that "Because of You" was always been rejected by the label but she fought for it. She also stuck to her claim that the lyrics were criticized by the label. She has said this for 6 years. She has also said for 6 years that she wanted more guitars on Since U Been Gone, and Dr.Luke and Max Martin support this claim.

    Round 3: WHY DO YOU NEED FACT CHECKERS FOR YOUR OWN MEMORIES?! If you are THAT mentally incompetent to remember something you are DOCUMENTING and RELEASING you shouldn't be writing a book! Those "fact checkers" were probably some poor accountants who didn't want to disagree with an industry Mogul such as Clive. And again, I mentioned the hypocrisies in the first paragraph.

    Kelly easily won this battle in my mind, and I feel that I explained my point thoroughly.

  7. Preach.
    Haha, your comment on Round 3 never crossed my mind. Good point!

  8. That bitter old queen can go and suck on some rancid infested man whores plums! Kelly is a goddess and he has no right to diss my lady! End of! Kelly wins, and thats that!

  9. Clive Davis is now bald because Kelly scalped him and tossed that wig into her fire place. I'm giving this one to Kelly, toss that shade gurl! lmfao Although I see where you're coming from DD, I'm sure this whole "feud" is just to generate hype for his memoir.

  10. Kelly has always had her shady moments, most noticeably this shot at Ryan Tedder and Clive after the Halo/Already Gone incident

  11. Kelly Clarkson: Candidate to be Mariah's successor as queen of amazing vocal production and (gasp) shade?

  12. hahaha I guess she truly is a diva LOL I want her to feud with some of her contemporaries so she can drag them in a song or vocal battle.

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  14. I don't know much about their relationship, but I know that he was forceful and controlled her sound. Much like Motolla and Mariah.

  15. Oh no DD! I was talking about Clive calling "My December" a flop! And I agree with you, even I want to read his memoir in full now.

  16. I believe Kelly. Clive is a shit mogul. He totally fucked Leona Lewis' career. He forced her to record boring, soppy songs, because he was convinced that that was what her fans wanted, he wouldn't listen to her. Really, what her fans wanted was vocal pyrotechnics and Whitney-style power ballads. They buy Leona's albums full of boring dirges and wobbly vocals because that's all she releases, not because that's what they want her to do. This is why her album sales have rapidly declined since her debut - she hasn't got any casual fans left, because the music's too shit to keep people on board. Clive refused to let her record more interesting, edgy music, such as dance. I believe his judgement is appalling and therefore believe Kelly over him any day. Kelly also seems impassioned in her response, like she genuinely feels shafted, whereas Clive's retort was like the type of official statement a company would release after they've been caught doing something wrong.

  17. LOL I just found out Kelly was offered a full scholarship to Berklee after graduating highschool. But delusional Clive ''wouldn't have signed her if not for winning AI''???
    Sorry DD but even round one goes squarely to Kelly. ;-)

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  43. To me, Clive Davis has always seemed a bit out of touch. Don't get me wrong, his list of accomplishments is long and filled with countless celebrity names. That being said, there is a time when you need to step back and realize that you've peaked and enjoy your millions. Clive, and most record producers for that matter, tend to have a formula for what they consider to be marketable music. If an artist turns in material that doesn't fit into that category, they are often harassed, fired, or replaced. Sadly, it is the singers who break the mold and expand their boundaries that are truly admirable. This money-hungry attitude coupled with Clive's age make for a bad combination. The fact that he has been in the industry for so many years probably hurts his ear as well. After a while, it would be impossible to listen to music and hear quality instead of marketability. Kelly is an incredible singer and seems to be a truly great and down-to-earth person. I cannot imagine her throwing tantrums or being rude to her employers. "My December" failed to live up to expectations because her label ended marketing for it as soon as they could pull the plug and publicly voiced their disapproval of it before it even hit stores. The fact that it was a great CD didn't matter at the time. Instead, it looked like a childish attempt to teach Kelly a lesson. Clive knows how to sell albums no matter how many vocals need to be fudged or covers retouched. This time, it looks like he's applied that formula to pushing his book.

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