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Here’s What Clive Davis Actually Wrote About Kelly Clarkson

Following today’s release of The Soundtrack of My Life, the memoir of music mogul and Chief Creative Officer of Sony, Clive Davis, Kelly Clarkson issued a statement via Twitter to say that Davis was “spreading false information about me and my music” with his book. “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,” she added. 

Clarkson goes on to accuse Davis of misstating the facts of a discussion they had about her album, Breakaway, of which he wrote that she had requested the removal of “Since U Been Gone” and “Behind These Hazel Eyes.” “It was a very tough conversation, and it didn’t get any easier when Kelly burst into hysterical sobbing,” Davis writes in the book. “We all just sat there as she cried for several minutes… Finally, I said, ‘I don’t know what to say. I feel terrible. Your career is really just beginning and I don’t expect you to understand this, but I want you so much to love this record. What you’re asking me to do is impossible.'” According to Davis’ book, “Kelly didn’t say another word. She just looked at me with red, puffy eyes and a swollen face, and got up to leave.” But Clarkson insists that she wanted more guitar in the original demo, though “Clive did not.” However, she adds that she “fought for the bigger sound,” and won, saying that she “couldn’t be more proud of the life of that song. I resent [Davis] dampening that song in any way.”

And Clarkson wrote that she didn’t burst into tears in Davis’ office on that occasion, but she did another time, after she played him “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.” Yet in Davis’ account, he mentions interviews where Clarkson said that she struggled to get “Because of You” on the album, which “simply wasn’t the case. I have no idea where she heard that, perhaps from someone intentionally trying to create trouble.” He supposedly “loved the song and the record from the first listen and felt that it delivered the promise that Kelly could indeed write hits… Because of its tempo, I did say it should be the album’s third or fourth single, but there never was any question that not only would it be included on the album, but that it would break out from the album as a single release. It’s truly such a shame that Kelly and I didn’t have more direct contact to put the kibosh on such false information.”

The last rumor Clarkson’s statement charges Davis of perpetuating is that of their conversation about the album released following her break from 19 Entertainment – though she was still financially tied to the firm – and under new management, My December. Davis writes of a “candid” talk he had with Clarkson at his bungalow in Los Angeles, in which he told her that it was “a pop album that still needs pop hits.” Clarkson still wanted to release the album, and did so to success – attesting to the fact of its going platinum in her statement. She appends that “what’s most interesting about [Davis'] 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.” 

Closing her statement, Clarkson’s thankful to her fans and “all of my professional relationships…now. And I am grateful for Clive for teaching me to know the difference,” she adds with a final smirk. Davis ends his unflattering chapter of Kelly with similar derision, if not with a little more condescension. “It’s clear that Kelly Clarkson has a decidedly independent streak, to say the least, and often speaks in public before she realizes the implications of what she’s saying… With the right future material she can once again enjoy the major level of success she attained with Breakaway.” It’s little wonder she’s upset.

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