Kelly Clarkson took to her WhoSay account today to speak out on the entire chapter about her in Clive Davis' new memoir The Soundtrack of My Life. "It feels like a violation. Growing up is awesome because you learn you don't have to cower to anyone—even Clive Davis." So what did Clive say that got her so riled up?
Well, first of all, it's clear that he wasn't that excited about having to overcome the "game show" stigma when trying to sell Kelly as a legitimate artist, but he can't be faulted for that. But there's plenty in there that describes their contentious relationship, namely, that she thinks she's a better songwriter than she is and that she's not grateful enough for what he's done for her career—including his revelation that he got the release of From Justin to Kelly (a film Kelly actually likes) delayed so that its stink wouldn't taint her forthcoming debut album.
He also describes her as being difficult to work with, and accuses her of believing her own hype.
It was hard for Kelly, who had come from the high of winning American Idol and then having a double-platinum debut album. You're young, everybody recognizes you everywhere you go. It's heady, and all that attention affects all Idol winners. But then suddenly you're in an entirely different world of making records in a studio, and you have to take direction. Kelly didn't like it.
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And he thinks that she speaks without thinking first:
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. She even made an enthusiastic statement in support of Ron Paul in a tweet during the 2011 Republican primary campaign without comprehending how that would infuriate many of her fans.
But it was this passage about a meeting they had that seemed to be what irked Kelly the most:
To this point I had never really spent much personal time with her, so I was looking forward to hearing what she had to say and to seeing how she would react to the news of the great response to her songs at the meeting the day before. Kelly began the meeting by saying, "I want to be direct and to the point. I hate ‘Since U Been Gone,' and I hate ‘Behind These Hazel Eyes.' I didn't like working with Max Martin and Dr. Luke, and I don't like the end product. I really want both songs off my album."
It was a very tough conversation, and it didn't get any easier when Kelly burst into hysterical sobbing. We all just sat there as she cried for several minutes. No one knew what to say. Then she left to go to the ladies' room. When she came back the tension in the room was thick. 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. I've committed to all our executives all over the world. The stakes are just too high. ‘Since U Been Gone' is going to be the first single, and it's going to be a game-changer for you." Kelly didn't say another word. She just looked at me with red, puffy eyes and a swollen face, and got up to leave. I truly felt awful. I've had differences of opinion with artists and my share of tough meetings, but I really had never been in a situation like that before.
So I just heard Clive Davis is releasing a memoir and spreading false information about me and my music. 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. Growing up is awesome because you learn you don't have to cower to anyone - even Clive Davis.
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. Max, Luke and I still fought for the bigger sound and we prevailed and I couldn't be more proud of the life of that song. I resent him dampening that song in any way.
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 "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.
But I continued to fight for the song and the label relented. And it became a worldwide hit. He didn't include that in the book.
He also goes on to say My December wasn't successful because I co-penned the album and it didn't have "pop hits". Well, first let me say, I've co-penned many of my "pop hits." Secondly, My December went platinum (It sold 20,000 less than All I Ever Wanted which followed My December.) Hardly a huge failure. Never Again, the ONLY single they released in the US from that record was a Top 10 hit. I am very proud of that and I have my fans to thank. 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 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….
Anyway, I love my job. I love my music. I love my fans. I love my label and all of my professional relationships… now. And I am grateful for Clive for teaching me to know the difference.
Cheers to another amazing year! And, as always, thanks for listening!