Kelly Clarkson at the Grammy Awards. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)
Clive Davis’ new autobiography, "The Soundtrack of My Life," is drumming up headlines because of the music executive’s revelation that he’s bisexual. The book also has angered Kelly Clarkson, one of the many multi-platinum talents he nurtured and wrote about in the memoir, who feels she's been mischaracterized.
Davis and Clarkson infamously clashed over her darker, rock-driven 2007 effort, "My December," which she spent most of the promo cycle defending.
The spat between the “American Idol” champ and the legendary record man was believed to have derived from Davis' assertion that the album didn't have the big pop hits she was known for, including "Since U Been Gone," "Behind These Hazel Eyes" and "Because of You." Davis reportedly threatened to shelve the entire project if she didn’t make alterations to the album.
In a lengthy blog post Clarkson wrote on Tuesday, the singer says she refuses to “bullied” by Davis and said his accounts of their working relationship “feels like a violation.”
“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,” she writes.
“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 '[expletive] writer who should be grateful for the gifts that he bestows upon me.'"
Clarkson also rebukes Davis’ telling of the drama over “My December.”
“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….”
When I interviewed Clarkson for her 2011 record, “Stronger” (it won a Grammy for pop vocal album earlier this month), she said the album was the first she didn’t have to fight label brass over.
"Literally every album, except this album, I've had to really push for songs or say no on certain stuff," Clarkson said. "It's very easy, obviously, for people when their main goal is to make money. But I don't want to do the same formula as someone else. I want to do my own thing. This album has been a piece of cake. There's no way to describe it. I'm just waiting for the kick in the butt."
[For the Record, 3:25 p.m. Feb. 19: An earlier version of this post listed the title of Davis' book as "The Music of My Life."]