It doesn't sound like Kelly Clarkson's life sucks without former mentor Clive Davis.
As the veteran music producer gets ready to release a new memoir, Clarkson is telling her side of the story of their volatile collaboration. On Tuesday, Clarkson wrote a lengthy post about the "false information" she says Davis spreads about her in The Soundtrack of My Life. "It feels like a violation," she writes of the several alleged lies he included in his book. "Growing up is awesome because you learn you don't have to cower to anyone — even Clive Davis."
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In the book, Davis claims that Clarkson broke into "hysterical sobbing" when Davis made her include "Since U Been Gone" on her sophomore album, Breakaway. She denies the claim, but admits that she and Davis disagreed about how the song should be produced, but her vision won out in the end. Clarkson says the tears came when they argued about a different song from Breakaway: the hit song "Because of You."
"I cried because he hated it and told me verbatim that I was a 'sh---y 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 wrote. "This was devastating coming from a man who I, as a young girl, considered a musical hero and was so honored to work with." Because of You would eventually become the fourth radio single from Breakaway and peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100.
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Clarkson claims that Davis criticized her again — this time in public — when she was working on her third studio album, the darker My December. "He stood up in front of his company at a convention and belittled me and my music and completely sabotaged the entire project," she says. "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."
Clarkson's and Davis' battles over the direction of My December went public shortly before the album's release. In his memoir, Davis blames the relative failure of the album — My December went platinum whereas Breakaway went six-times platinum — on Clarkson, who wrote every track when she had not written what he calls "pop hits" before.
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After their public feud, Clarkson canceled her tour in support of My December and fired her manager. In a statement posted weeks after My December's release, Clarkson attempted to downplay any reports of bad blood between her and Davis. "A lot has been made in the press about my relationship with Clive. Much of this has been blown way out of proportion and taken out of context. Contrary to recent characterizations in the press, I'm well aware that Clive is one of the great record men of all time," she said. "He has been a key advisor and has been an important force in my success to date. He has also given me respect by releasing my new album when he was not obligated to do so."
Despite the rocky relationship Clarkson had with Davis, she still thanked him at the end of her post. "I love my label and all of my professional relationships... now. And I am grateful for Clive for teaching me to know the difference," she wrote.
Hours after Clarkson's post, Davis issued his own statement about what was included in his books and Clarkson's claims about his "false information." "I think Kelly Clarkson is a tremendous vocal talent and performer. In the book, I provide an in-depth look at our years together during which we shared major multi-platinum success, as well as a few creative differences," he said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. "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. 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. At the same time, I wish, and will always wish, Kelly's talent and her career to soar to ever new heights."
Whose side are you on?