“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” sings Kelly Clarkson in her recent hit. She could be referring to past scuffles with her record label head, Clive Davis, who has led the charge at Columbia, J Records, Arista and RCA and just released an autobiography called “The Soundtrack of My Life.”
Clarkson says when it comes to memories of her, Davis is a memory-challenged bully.
Davis writes about a tearful meeting with Clarkson over putting “Since U Been Gone” on her second album, Breakaway. Clarkson says she did indeed cry at a meeting with Clive, but their flap was over another song, “Because of You.” She goes on to accuse Davis of “spreading false information about me and my music.”
“I cried after I played him a song I had written about my life called ‘Because Of You,’” she posted on Whosay yesterday. “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.”
Although Davis is no stranger to controversy (the 80-year-old, has been instrumental in the careers of Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Alicia Keyes and Jennifer Hudson, among others) it isn’t often artists speak out against him.
“I refuse to be bullied and I just have to clear up his memory lapses and misinformation for myself and for my fans,” she wrote. “It feels like a violation. Growing up is awesome because you learn you don’t have to cower to anyone – even Clive Davis.”
Davis will be a keynote speaker at this year’s SXSW fest in Austin and you can be sure his feud with Kelly Clarkson will be a hot topic of conversation.