Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/WireImage
Kelly Clarkson isn't going to let one of the most powerful men in music knock her down. Legendary producer Clive Davis helped Clarkson transition from American Idol winner to Grammy-winning solo artist. Even so, he said a few unflattering things about Kelly in his new memoir, The Soundtrack of My Life. On Tuesday, Clarkson took to her WhoSay blog to set the record straight.
"I refuse to be bullied and I just have to clear up [Davis'] memory lapses and misinformation for myself and for my fans," the singer wrote. "It feels like a violation. Growing up is awesome because you learn you don't have to cower to anyone -- even Clive Davis."
In the chapter that Clarkson has called into question, Davis describes falling out with the young singer because he didn't think the material she was writing was up to snuff. In particular, he told her that her sophomore album, My December, was "a pop album that still needs pop hits." He stands by his opinion, noting that My December didn't do nearly as well as her previous album, Breakaway.
Kelly, however, sees it a little differently. She notes that My December was no failure -- it did, in fact, go platinum -- and that the label only released one single from that record, "Never Again," which became a Top 10 hit. She believes that the record would have been a success had Davis not sabotaged her efforts.
She also remembers a time when Davis drove her to tears in his office, after she played him a new song that was very personal to her: "Because of You."
"I cried because he hated it and told me verbatim that I was a 's--ty writer who should be grateful for the gifts that he bestows upon me,'" Clarkson revealed. "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."
Clarkson writes that she "continued to fight for the song and the label relented. And it became a worldwide hit. He didn't include that in the book."
The singer also gave a different version of another Davis anecdote. The producer claimed that Clarkson hated the song "Since U Been Gone," and when he insisted on putting it on her album, she burst into "hysterical sobbing."
"Not true at all," Clarkson wrote of her 2004 megahit. "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."
Obviously, this is her word against his. None of us were there. But even if we don't know exactly what happened, we're impressed that Clarkson has the guts to stick up for her own music and career choices. Sticking her neck out against a powerful guy like Davis is a big risk, but she's confident enough to deal with the consequences. And that's pretty awesome.
To his credit, Clive Davis has also earned our respect this week -- by revealing that he is bisexual and proud.
"For over 50 years I never had sex with a male. I wasn't repressed. I had very good sexual relationships with women," Davis, twice married and currently in a relationship with a man, told Nightline.
"I never felt shame. I felt puzzled," the producer explained. "The subject of bisexuality really needs much more discussion. It's a status that does exist."
Maybe Davis will give other artists the courage to come out about their sexuality. And maybe Clarkson will give other artists the courage to stand by their artistic visions. As feuds go, the consequences don't seem so bad!