Clive Jay Davis is a record producer, A&R executive, and music industry executive. He has won five Grammy Awards and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer.
Clive Davis and his "golden ear" have been making musical superstars for decades. His life also inspired the 2017 documentary Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives.
At the age of 28, he became the assistant counsel of the CBS subsidiary Columbia Records. In 1965, as part of a reorganization of Columbia Records Group, Davis became administrative vice president and general manager. At Columbia, he signed countless hitmakers, including Janis Joplin, Laura Nyro, Santana, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, and Pink Floyd.
In 1974, he founded Arista Records and continued to sign incredible musicians, including Barry Manilow, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Patti Smith, Ace of Base, Air Supply, Ray Parker, Jr., Alicia Keys, and Whitney Houston (#Bi2, #OneOfUs).
He co-founded LaFace Records with L.A. Reid and Babyface. That label became the home of TLC, Usher, Outkast, Pink, and Toni Braxton. He also founded Bad Boy Records with Sean "Puffy" Combs, which became home to the Notorious B.I.G. and Faith Evans.
In 2000, he left Arista Records and is currently serving as the Chief Creative Officer for Sony Music Entertainment.
In his 2013 autobiography, The Soundtrack of My Life, Clive Davis came out as bisexual. It was wonderful to see a man talk about the reality of learning about his bisexuality after the failure of his second marriage in the 1980s and the importance of being honest with his close friends and family.
Without Clive Davis, the music industry would be a totally different animal. He has worked with artists across genres for decades, and his golden ear continues to shape what we listen to today.