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Report: Clive Davis/Kelly Clarkson dispute causing internal RCA strife


By Christopher Rocchio, 06/01/2007 

The nastiness caused by RCA chairman Clive Davis and original American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson's feud over the musical content of her upcoming third album "My December" has apparently begun to spill out from within Sony BMG, RCA's parent company.

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"Clive is furious because Kelly has assumed total artistic control over her new album and refuses his suggestions," an "insider at Sony BMG" told the New York Post Wednesday.

Clarkson either wrote or co-wrote every one of the 14 tracks on "My December," which she finished recording in January but won't be released by RCA until July 24.  The reasoning behind its delay, according to Entertainment Weekly's summer music preview, was because Davis "sat" on "My December" for four months hoping Clarkson would use the same producers who helped her craft 2004's "Breakaway," which won a 2006 Grammy for best pop vocal album and has since sold 10 million copies.  However the insider told the Post some of the most successful tracks from "Breakaway" were in fact creations of Clarkson's.

"She wrote all of ['Breakaway'] herself, including the hits 'Because of You,' 'Behind These Hazel Eyes,' and 'Walk Away,'" the insider told the Post.  "Clive hated 'Because of You' so much, he would routinely mock it in meetings.  It was one of her most successful singles."

However a "Davis pal" disagreed, according to the Post.

"Clive gave [Clarkson] 'Hazel Eyes' and 'Walk Away' and he gave her the production company to help make 'Because of You' a hit," the pal told the Post.  "We pay millions for the albums.  This is incorrect."

Last week, Davis went so far as to take a not-so-subtle swipe at Clarkson's decision to stand her ground when he gave viewers a boring boardroom-like update on the album sales of past Idol finalists during American Idol's live Wednesday night sixth-season finale. During his speech, Davis plugged numerous other former Idol finalists, but when it came time to praise Clarkson, he instead credited the songwriters behind "Since U Been Gone."

"Contrary to popular belief, that's what album sales are really all about -- new hit songs," said Davis during the finale.  "Everyone in American Idol must toast [those] much too often underappreciated professional songwriters, those who have greatly enhanced the American Idol album franchise.  Right from the very beginning, by writing No. 1 hit songs for Clay Aiken, through 'Since U Been Gone'.. 'Breakaway,' for Kelly Clarkson's huge 'Breakaway' album..."

Having sold close to 15 million albums since taking the first Idol crown in 2002, the source told the Post Clarkson hasn't asked for her deal with RCA to be renegotiated, despite the fact "she only gets like $250,000 an album when she could get millions."

"She refuses to take more money because she wants artistic control," the insider told the Post.  "And she has always turned out to be right.  If Clive had his way, she wouldn't have sold nearly as many albums as she did... "We are appalled he is picking apart one of our own acts... and one that we all love."

Rather than creating cookie-cutter pop music, Clarkson has described "My December" as something that's personal to her and she's excited at the opportunity it has to showcase her talents as a songwriter.

"Kelly wanted to make a deeply personal record," the source told the Post.  "Here's an artist who didn't demand more money, who handed in her record on time in January, after making [Davis] millions, and now he rips her?  The music business is collapsing, and this is why.  They won't let people put out their real music.  This is about [Davis'] huge ego."




(Photo credit Fox)


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