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Brooklyn, NewYork City, New York, USA
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Profile Bio Text
Clive Davis (born April 4, 1932) is an American record producer 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.
From 1967 to 1973, Davis was the President of Columbia Records. He was the founder and president of Arista Records from 1975 through 2000 until founding J Records. From 2002 until April 2008, Davis was the Chairman and CEO of the RCA Music Group (which included RCA Records, J Records and Arista Records), Chairman and CEO of J Records, and Chairman and CEO of BMG North America. Currently Davis is the Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment. He currently plays a part in the careers of Aretha Franklin, Rod Stewart, Alicia Keys, Barry Manilow, Christina Aguilera, Carlos Santana, Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis and Jennifer Hudson. Davis is credited with bringing Whitney Houston to prominence.
Clive Davis is an alumnus of New York University, and the recorded music division of its Tisch School for the Arts is named after him.
Early life and educationDavis was born in Brooklyn, New York, to a Jewish family, the son of Herman and Florence Davis. Davis was raised in the middle-class neighborhood of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. His mother died, aged 47, and his father died the following year when Davis was only a teenager, leaving him an orphan with no money. He received a full scholarship to New York University College of Arts and Science, where he graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa in 1953. He then received a full scholarship to Harvard Law School, where he was a member of the Board of Student Advisers and graduated in 1956.
 Career The CBS yearsDavis practiced law in a small firm in New York, then moved on to the firm of Rosenman, Colin, Kaye, Petschek, and Freund two years later, where partner Ralph Colin had CBS as a client. Hired by a former colleague at the firm, Harvey Schein, Davis became assistant counsel of CBS subsidiary Columbia Records at the age of twenty-eight and general counsel the next year.
In a company reorganization of the operations of the Columbia Records Group, Goddard Lieberson, the president of the Group, appointed Davis Vice President and General Manager in 1966. In 1967 he was appointed President and became interested in the newest generation of folk rock and rock and roll. One of his earliest pop signings was the British folk-rock musician Donovan, who enjoyed a string of successful hit singles and albums released in the USA on the Epic label.
In June 1967, at the urging of his friend and business associate Lou Adler, Davis attended the Monterey Pop Festival. He immediately signed Janis Joplin with Big Brother & the Holding Company, and Columbia went on to sign Laura Nyro, Electric Flag, Santana, The Chambers Brothers, Bruce Springsteen, Chicago, Billy Joel, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Loggins & Messina and Pink Floyd. The company, which had previously avoided rock music (its few rock acts prior to the Davis presidency included The Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, and Paul Revere and the Raiders), doubled its market share in three years. One of the most commercially successful recordings released during Davis' tenure at Columbia was Lynn Anderson's "Rose Garden," in late 1970. It was Davis who insisted "Rose Garden" be the country singer's next single release. The song reached number one in 16 countries around the world and remained the biggest selling album by a female country artist for 27 years.
In 1972, Davis also signed Earth, Wind & Fire to Columbia Records. One of his most recognized accomplishments was signing the Boston group Aerosmith to Columbia Records in the early 1970s at New York City's Max's Kansas City, which was mentioned in the 1979 Aerosmith song "No Surprise", where Steven Tyler sings, "Old Clive Davis said he's surely gonna make you a star, just the way you are."  Starting on December 30, 1978, Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead occasionally changed the lyrics of the Dead standard Jack Straw in concert from "we used to play for silver, now we play for life," to "we used to play for silver, now we play for Clive."
 The Arista yearsAfter Davis was fired from CBS Records for allegedly using company funds to bankroll his son's bar mitzvah, Columbia Pictures (at the time unrelated to Columbia Records) hired him to be a consultant for the company's record and music operations. After taking time out to write his memoirs, he founded the company Arista Records (named after New York City's secondary school honor society of which he was a member, and it replaced Columbia Pictures' Bell Record label).
At Arista, Davis signed Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Patti Smith, The Outlaws, Eric Carmen, Exposé, Ace of Base, Air Supply, Ray Parker and Raydio, and Alicia Keys, and he brought to the label Carly Simon, The Grateful Dead, The Kinks and Lou Re
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Full Name at Birth
Clive Jay Davis
Clive Jay Davis (born April 4, 1932) is an American record producer 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.
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New York University College of Arts and Science, Harvard Law School
Whitney Houston (whom he discovered and made a star)
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Music Profile Complete
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