Legendary music producer Clive Davis has molded the careers of some of the top icons of the industry, but pop star Kelly Clarkson, one of his protégés, has slammed his new autobiography and accused him of “spreading false information” about her and her music.
In a letter to her fans that she posted Tuesday on the website WhoSay, Clarkson started out by saying she wouldn’t be bullied, and she pulled no punches in her rebuttal to parts of Davis’ memoir, “The Sound Track of My Life.”
She addressed the claim that she burst into hysterical sobbing when Davis demanded that the song “Since You Been Gone” be included on her album (“Breakaway,” released in 2004). She wrote that Davis’ memories were “mixed up,” and denied crying about that song. She wrote that she insisted on having a “bigger sound” for that particular track.
She did admit to crying once in Davis’ office and said that breakdown was because of his reception of “Because of You,” a song she had written about her life.
“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,’” she wrote, continuing: “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.”
“Because of You” became one of Clarkson’s biggest hits.
Clarkson also claimed that Davis said in the book that her album “My December” wasn’t successful because she co-wrote it and it lacked pop hits.
Responding to that, she wrote: “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 (sic) 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 … .”
It’s no secret the two didn’t see eye-to-eye on “My December.” The album was released in 2007 and sold well enough, but didn’t match Clarkson’s far more successful previous records.
“It’s definitely clear she has a vivid memory and strong recollection and she wanted to make that known,” Raha Lewis of People magazine told ABC News.
Davis responded to Clarkson’s criticism in a statement to ABC News in which he said anyone who has read his memoir knows that he thinks Clarkson is a “tremendous vocal talent and performer.”
He said his book provided an in-depth look at their years together, “during which we shared major major multi-platinum success, as well as a few creative differences.”
“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,” his statement said. “Before the book was published, I had every fact checked with five independent individuals who were present on a daily basis throughout it all. The chapter as it is written was thoroughly verified by each and every one of them. I stand by the chapter as written in my book.”
He also said he has, and always will, wish Clarkson’s talent and career “to soar to ever new heights.”
Clarkson finished her letter by saying she loved her job, music and her fans.
“I love my label and all of my professional relationships … now. And I’m grateful for Clive for teaching me to know the difference,” she added.
Her fans reacted with overwhelming approval to her post.
“Way to not let anyone push you around! I admire your honesty Kelly,” wrote one fan, while another added: “Wow. Such strong words, Kelly. You should be very proud for standing up for yourself with such an eloquent and articulate defense. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not a success. You’re a house hold (sic) name!”