First of all, I want to praise Kelly Clarkson for absolutely killing it at the Grammys. She did a medley of Teneesee Waltz and Natural Woman that was just amazing. Also, Kelly won Best Pop Vocal Album, for Stronger, and her exuberant acceptance speech was so cute.
Kelly may be on top of the charts now but she’s had her trials and setbacks since shooting to fame as the first winner of Idol in 2002. She’s also had a longstanding feud with record producer Clive Davis, in which they’ve butted heads over the direction Kelly wanted to take with her music. Davis was CEO of Kelly’s label, RCA records, up until April, 2008. He then moved to head up Sony records. So Kelly worked under him for her first three CDs, up until 2007’s My December.
In his new memoir, Clive tells some stories about professional disagreements with Kelly, but Kelly wants us to know that he’s getting the details wrong. She also includes some additional information she claims Clive left out, in which it sounds like he demeaned and bullied her and did not give her credit for her successes. Kelly posted this on WhoSay:
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!
Damn I love how she just smacks those stories down and makes her case bluntly. She is one tough cookie and she will stand up for herself and for her music. It really shows in her songs, and her industry and the marketplace have recognized that. Kelly is so talented and I love that she isn’t taking this laying down.
Update: Clive has responded to Kelly’s criticism of his book. He apologized but says his claims are accurate. He said, in part “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.” You can read his whole statement here.
Kelly is shown on 12-5-12 and on 2-9-13, when she was the Grand Marshal at the Krewe Of Endymion Mardi Gras Parade. Credit: Pompo/FameFlynet