Kelly Clarkson Opens Up About Clive Davis Feud: 'I Was Told I Should Shut Up and Sing'
By Elizabeth Stanton
Kelly Clarkson isn't afraid to speak out on anything.
In a new interview with Variety, the American Idol alum detailed her feud with RCA Records head and music mogul Clive Davis, which goes all the way back to 2004, when they disagreed over the direction of her music.
The trouble began when Clarkson and Davis argued over a song she wrote, "Because of You," on her second album Breakaway. “I was told that was a sh**ty song because it didn’t rhyme,” Clarkson said, adding that the harsh decision was delivered during a meeting.
"A group of men thought it was OK to sit around a young woman and bully her. I was told I should shut up and sing," she continued.
Much of the beef until now seemed to have stemmed from the release of her third album, My December, where the two parted ways.
In his 2013 memoir, The Soundtrack of My Life, Davis wrote that he did not believe the singer capable of co-penning any hit songs. He also described her as bursting into "hysterical sobbing" over their disagreement on including "Since U Been Gone" on her second album.
Clarkson hit back in a blogpost shortly after, writing, "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."
She went on to refute his claims that My December wasn't a hit because she co-wrote the album, and added that he had called her a "sh**ty writer" after he listened to "Because of You," a claim she stands by in her new interview.
Though Clarkson is still disappointed in many ways by her partnership with Davis, she admits that there was some respite from the frustration.
“Here’s the thing,” she told Variety. “It always sounds like I’m going against Clive Davis. You have no idea how excited I was when I found out he was taking over."
"It’s like meeting someone you’ve idolized since you were a kid and being let down," she continued. "The only victory I see from the last 15 years is honestly just the fact that, even in such an incredibly not-healthy environment, we were very successful."
The 35-year-old will be joining NBC's The Voice in the spring of 2018. She spoke with ET in September about her decision to join the show, despite an offer from American Idol to join as a judge.
"I've been in talks with The Voice about doing stuff for years. It's a family decision too, for us. Like, my husband [Brandon Blackstock] manages Blake [Shelton] so we're all in one place and it's going to be good. And I'm excited, ya'll," she said.