Clive Davis celebrates his legacy
Clive Davis celebrated his legacy with the debut of a documentary about his life, along with performances from artists he helped become icons, during the opening night of the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.
Davis, 85, said it was a dream come true to launch Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, at Radio City Music Hall since he grew up in Brooklyn and didn’t visit Manhattan until he was 13.
The music mogul was all smiles this week, as performers Aretha Franklin, Carly Simon, Barry Manilow and Earth, Wind & Fire took the stage to pay tribute to Davis.
“All of them fresh from not performing at the inauguration,” Robert De Niro, who co-founded the festival, said before the film began.
Franklin called her longtime collaborator a “chieftain” and “humanitarian.” Davis lost his parents while he was an undergraduate at New York University, and later attended Harvard Law School.
After working as a lawyer for Columbia Records, he was promoted to president in 1967.
“I had no inkling that music would be my passion of life,” he said in an interview. “I had no money after my parents died, so I went through school on scholarships.”
Of the documentary he said: “It was very emotional to see artists that I worked with 20, 30, 40 years ago have the same vivid memories of how we interrelated and what we worked on and issues that arose. It certainly gives a very compelling picture of the relationship that I had with Whitney Houston and of course that’s filled with emotional impact, and it really showed sides of Whitney that no one has ever seen before.”
Davis founded Arista Records in 1975 and J Records in 2000. His documentary will be available on Apple Music.