Clive DavisBusiness, Producer | 2014
Brooklyn-native Clive Davis has had a profound effect on the world of music. He served as general counsel of Columbia Records before being appointed vice president and general manager in 1966. In 1967, he was named president. He personally signed Janis Joplin’s Big Brother and the Holding Company to Columbia. After that, he was directly responsible for the signing of many more landmark artists in the rock field, among them Blood, Sweat & Tears, Chicago, Santana, Boz Scaggs, Loggins & Messina, Laura Nyro, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith and Earth, Wind & Fire. Davis left Columbia Records in May 1973 and founded Arista Records in the fall of 1974. Under Davis’ leadership, Arista launched the careers of Whitney Houston, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, Kenny G, Sarah McLachlan, Monica, and Dido. The label also attracted such important artists as Aretha Franklin, The Grateful Dead, The Kinks, Lou Reed, Eurythmics, Dionne Warwick, Daryl Hall & John Oates, and Carly Simon. (Arista’s Nashville division, founded in 1988, discovered Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Diamond Rio, Pam Tillis, and Brad Paisley.) He latered partnered with renowned music producers such as L.A. Reid, Babyface, and Sean “Puffy” Combs on other ventures and labels. In 2000, Clive Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he received the Trustees Lifetime Achievement award by NARAS at the Grammy Awards. Davis’ passion for music is matched only by a passion for helping his fellow man. He has been the recipient of many humanitarian honors, including being named Humanitarian of the Year by the T.J. Martell Foundation in 1995.