(NEW YORK) — Kelly Clarkson and legendary record executive Clive Davis had a major falling out a few years ago over the direction of her music, and now she’s taking issue with Davis’ description of their working relationship, which appears in his new memoir, The Soundtrack of My Life.
In a lengthy posting, Kelly accuses Davis of “spreading false information about” her and her music. She writes, “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.”
In his memoir, Davis contends that Kelly burst into “hysterical sobbing” in his office because she claimed he was forcing her to put two songs she “hated” — “Since U Been Gone” and “Behind These Hazel Eyes” — on her second album, Breakaway. Davis writes that he explained to Kelly that those two songs would be huge hits, and they absolutely had to be on her album if she wanted to take her career to the next level. Of course, Davis was later proven correct.
But Kelly remembers it quite differently. “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,” she writes. “His stories and songs are mixed up.” While she says she did want the mix on “Since U Been Gone” changed, she writes, “I couldn’t be more proud of the life of that song. I resent him dampening that song in any way.”
She did cry in his office, she says, but it was because Davis “hated” her song “Because of You.” In fact, Kelly says, “He told me verbatim that I was a sh**ty writer who should be grateful for the gifts that he bestows upon me…[that] the song didn’t rhyme and how I should just shut up and sing.” Kelly says she continued to “fight” for the song, because it was so personal, until the record label gave in. It became a big hit.
Davis, however, denies this story about “Because of You” in his memoir, saying, “I loved the song from first listen and felt that it delivered on the promise that Kelly could indeed write hits.” He adds, “It is well known that we trumpeted it to everyone in [the record company] promotion [department].” He writes that he has no idea why Kelly — who has in the past accused Davis of hating “Because of You” — believes otherwise.
Kelly next focuses on Davis’ statements in his memoir about her album My December. She says that he claims the album wasn’t successful because she co-wrote it and because it didn’t have “pop hits.” Kelly points out that the record went platinum — “hardly a huge failure” — and produced a top 10 hit in “Never Again.”
But Kelly says that in his memoir, Davis “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 its full potential.” She also claims no other singles were released from the album.
Davis spends quite a bit of time discussing My December in his book. He does say that he warned Kelly and her team that the record would not be successful because it didn’t have any big hits on it, except for “Never Again.” He claims it had nothing to do with who wrote the songs: he says they tested all of the tracks with focus groups, and the only song anyone liked was “Never Again.”
Davis also says that Kelly’s lawyers were demanding she be paid ten million dollars for My December, which is why he wanted to make sure it contained hits. When Kelly and her team wouldn’t budge on the material, he says he promised to promote the album and the single. While “Never Again” went top 10, Davis says three other singles the label released didn’t make the top 100. He acknowledges the album went platinum, but compared to the six million copies that Breakaway sold, it was a disappointment.
Kelly concludes her statement by saying, “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.”
“Growing up is awesome,” notes the singer. “Because you learn you don’t have to cower to anyone — even Clive Davis.”
Clive has since responded to Kelly’s accusations with an extended message posted on TwitLonger. Calling Kelly a “tremendous vocal talent and performer,” Clive writes, “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.”
He concludes the message by wishing “Kelly’s talent and her career to soar to ever new heights.”
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