Kelly Clarkson Puts Clive Davis on Blast, Says Record Exec Told Her to ‘Shut Up and Sing’
"He told me I was a shitty writer," Kells says in an open letter refuting claims made in Davis' new memoir
Legendary Sony Music exec Clive Davis may have pleased social equality advocates by coming out as bisexual in his new memoir, The Soundtrack of My Life, but he’s pissed off Kelly Clarkson. The Stronger singer has set out to “clear up his memory lapses and misinformation” as a result of Davis “spreading false information about me and my music.”
According the American Idol grad’s post on WhoSay, Davis says she burst into “hysterical sobbing” when he insisted she include “Since U Been Gone” on 2004’s Breakaway album. Instead, she says she and Davis disagreed over how much guitar should be on the track, and that (with the backing of mega-producers Max Martin and Dr. Luke) she ultimately prevailed.
“I did cry in his office once,” she continued. “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.”
She also took exception to his apparent assertion that her 2007 LP My December a) “wasn’t successful” and b) “didn’t have ‘pop hits'” c) because she co-penned the thing. Clarkson points out that the set went platinum, that the only single the label released to radio (“Never Again”) wound up a Top 10 hit, and that she’s cowritten plenty of her bigger songs.
“Growing up is awesome because you learn you don’t have to cower to anyone — even Clive Davis,” she writes early on. Read the entire letter below:
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!