Born in 1932 in Brooklyn, Ny, Clive Davis started out as an attorney. He got work at Columbia Records and finally became its president. While there, Davis signed Janis Joplin, Aerosmith, yet others to the label. In 1974, he began Arista Records.
Occasionally called the Man with all the Golden Ears, Clive Jay Davis—produced on April 4, 1932, in Brooklyn, New York—did not start out with the goal of becoming one of music’s most powerful executives. His extreme commitment and work ethic emerged early on, as he used himself to his studies. After losing both of his parents as a teen, Davis found himself on his own. He worked tough to earn top scores, which helped him win scholarships to New York University and Harvard Law School.
He moved over to Columbia a couple of years afterwards as part of the legal section. Davis subsequently worked his way upward in the business, eventually becoming president of the label in 1967. The exact same year, he started his rise as a musical tastemaker.
Davis was particularly impressed by Joplin, and signed her to his label. Finally selling more than 25 million records, Joplin became Davis’ first amazing success story. He went on to sign such varied acts as Earth, Wind & Fire, Bruce Springsteen and Aerosmith.
He’s questioned this charge, maintaining the firm needed to remove him. In any case, Davis did not take long to locate a new house. He founded Arista Records the next year, and shortly returned to his success-making manners.
Not only focused on pop music, Davis continued to locate new rock talent. He signed punk icon Patti Smith and released among her most acclaimed records Horses in 1975. Davis was also instrumental in starting the careers of British rockers in the group, The Kinks.
As well as locating new talent, Davis showed great ability at restoring the careers of several performers. He also helped the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin win over a fresh generation of enthusiasts in the early 1980s.
Around this time, Davis made among his most famous discoveries. He saw a teen Whitney Houston perform, and immediately signed her to his label. In 1985, Houston’s first record, Whitney, came out as well as spawned several No. 1 hits, beginning with “Saving All My Love.” Houston became among the most notable acts of the 1980s and 1990s, and Davis stayed her mentor and supporter throughout her career.
In late 1990s, Davis took a hands on approach to bringing Carlos Santana back to the popular music landscape. He worked on locating collaborators and tunes with success possibility with this renowned rock guitarist.
Davis can be great at spotting talent behind the scenes. During his time at Arista, he worked on several business ventures. Davis helped L.A. Reid and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds found LaFace Records as a section of Arista.
The exact same year, he found J Records. His new label featured such recognized and emergent stars as Luther Vandross and Alicia Keys.
In 2002, Davis became the president and CEO of RCA Music Group, which comprised his J Records label. He continued to be active in his work with new artists, functioning as a producer for 2 American Idol aces, Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson. Amalgamations and restructuring led to another occupation change for Davis in 2008.
Davis has remained a steadfast supporter of most of the acts he found over the years. In 2009, he helped Whitney Houston with her comeback record I Look To You, which reached the very top of the charts. Just several years after, Davis lost his longtime protge. Houston’s departure happened just a day ahead of the Grammy Awards in the year 2012. At his annual pre-Grammy bash, he told those assembled that “I ‘m personally devastated by the loss of a person who has meant so much to me for so a long time. Whitney was so full of life.”
Now approaching his eighth decade, Davis reveals no signs of slowing down. He remains an influential power in the music world. Davis can also be active in numerous non-profit and educational efforts.
This father of four can also be devoted to his family. He assembles once weekly along with his kids and grandchildren and takes several excursions with them each year. “I do not need to be loving strangers. We wish to be able enough to grow through life together meaningfully,” Davis once told Esquire magazine.