Kelly Clarkson: Is It too Late to Make Nice?

It was all just one big misunderstanding — that's Kelly Clarkson's story and she is sticking to it while extending an olive branch to legendary music mogul Clive Davis.

This spring, a clash between the Titan and the Talent was apparent as creative differences — often a part of the business of making music — got an unusually public airing.

The 25-year-old Clarkson accused Davis of trying to sabotage the success of her third album, "My December," one for which she spurned songs he suggested in favor of penning her own songs.

But now, she is singing a slightly different tune.

"I am well aware that Clive is one of the great record men of all time," says the Texas siren on her Web site, www.kellyclarksonweb.com.

"He has been a key advisor and has been an important force in my success to date."

However, recently, it was a force with which Clarkson appeared more than happy to confront. In this month's issue of Blender music magazine she suggested the 75-year-old record label executive was too old to "get" her music.

Now she says comments about difficulties in her camp were "taken out of context" and "blown way out of proportion" by the media.

"Like any family we will disagree and argue sometimes but, in the end, it's respect and admiration that will keep us together," writes Clarkson.

And together with Davis it appears she'd like to remain: "I really regret how this has turned out and I apologize to those whom I have done [sic] disservice. I would never intentionally hurt anyone."

Intentionally or not, one has to wonder how much damage has already been done? Has Clarkson committed career suicide by taking on the iconic music industry executive Clive Davis?

Yes, is what some pop-music charters are whispering as U.S. sales of Clarkson's "My December" begin to slide.

Some industry watchers say Clarkson's decision to ignore the input of Davis, the man many call the "hit maker," in favor of composing her own songs could keep the nation's first "American Idol" winner off radio's playlist of Top 40 hits.

While fans and many critics have applauded the effort, as of yet there are no radio chart busters from the rock confessional. The album's first single, "Never Again," didn't crack the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"It's great she gets to call her own shots, [but] I think it was a mistake not to realize the singles she was releasing were not Top 40 hits," said music industry analyst and blogger Bob Lefsetz. "If you are in the Top 40 world, you have to have a hit today. You do not have the luxury of a 'stiff.'"

Sales of "My December" are more than respectable — entering its fourth week, the record has sold close to 500,000 copies, bringing it close to gold record status. "My December" debuted at No. 2 and this week slipped to No. 5 on the album sales chart.

But the lack of hits from the album so far is in stark contrast to the four No. 1 singles from her multiplatinum-selling 2005 album, "Breakaway," which earned the songbird from Burleson,Texas, Grammys for best female pop vocal performance and best pop vocal album.

"Breakaway" was composed by a veritable chorus of producers and songwriters assembled by Davis. The highly regarded boss of BMG/RCA, formerly of Arista, has shaped the hits and careers of many pop stars, including Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Whitney Houston and Carlos Santana.

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