Clive Davis has an estimated net worth of $850 million as a record producer and music industry executive in the United States. Clive Davis was born in Brooklyn, New York City, on April 4, 1932. Clive Davis, a five-time Grammy winner, is also a non-performer in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Davis’ client list reads like a who’s who of music royalty, including Janis Joplin, Aerosmith, Whitney Houston (together with Whitney’s cousin, Dionne Warwick), Jennifer Hudson, and Kelly Clarkson, to name a few.
Early Career and Success
In New York City, Clive Davis began his professional career as a lawyer. His law company put him in control of the CBS subsidiary Columbia Records at one point. He quickly rose through the ranks of Columbia’s legal department to become its general counsel. Clive was hired to lead the newly established CBS Records division when CBS restructured. Clive made substantial talent signings as soon as he became the label’s president. Among the musicians he famously signed were Janis Joplin, Santana, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and Aerosmith, to name a few. In 1974, Clive was fired from CBS for allegedly using company funds to pay for his son’s Bar Mitzvah.
Clive created Arista Records with $10 million in funding from Columbia Pictures after leaving CBS. His stake in the company was 20%. Artists like Barry Manilow, Air Supply, Dionne Warwick, and Aretha Franklin helped Arista achieve massive success in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Arista’s biggest break came in 1983, when company signed Whitney Houston, Warwick’s 20-year-old cousin. Whitney Houston’s self-titled album was published in 1985 and went on to sell over 22 million copies throughout the world. For Arista, Whitney alone would sell 200 million records.
With L.A. Reid and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Clive co-founded LaFace Records in 1989. TLC (75 million records sold), Toni Braxton (65 million), and Usher helped LaFace Records become a huge success in the late 1990s and early 2000s (65 million).
Sean Combs was seeking for a new job after being sacked from Uptown Records in 1993. He was able to set up a meeting with Clive, who was well-known for not being a fan of rap music at the time. Clive would later explain:
Davis founded J Records in 2000 and is now Sony Music’s chief creative officer. He is a five-time Grammy winner and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.
Davis came out as bisexual in his autobiography The Soundtrack of My Life, published in 2013. He told anchor Katie Couric on the daytime talk show Katie that he believed his coming out would lead to a “better understanding” of bisexuality. Davis has been in a man’s company since 2004, following a 14-year relationship with a male doctor.
Clive’s art collection is estimated to be worth $100 million on its own. Picasso, Damien Hirst, Dale Chihuli, Adolph Gottlieb, Andy Warhol, and others are among the artists represented in the collection.
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