Home Celebrity Superstar Hitmaker Clive Davis: “I’m Still a Student of Music”

Clive Davis is rocking Grammy weekend in silver Prada sneakers. Last night music industry Bible Billboard–beautifully redesigned and a print-must-read–honored with the Visionary award at a swanky cocktail party at the Redbury Hotel. Universal Music chief Lucian Grange was also honored at the event as the number 1 Power Player in the business.

Yesterday afternoon Clive presided over press calls with Grammy nominated singer songwriter Miguel in preparation for his annual gala on Saturday night. Usher, Patti Smith, The Lumineers, and — shhh–maybe Bruno Mars– and the totally amazing Gladys Knight are rumored to be joining Miguel for historic performances at the Beverly Hilton Hotel ballroom.. Plus the usual raft of A list stars will make Davis’s dinner and show traditionally the most glamorous party.

If all this weren’t enough, Clive is releasing his 600 page autobiography, called “The Soundtrack of My Life,” on Februry 19th. The book is tightly under wraps until that day, but Billboard does have a terrific excerpt this week about Davis’s days working with Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Clive is also on the Billboard cover–and as editor Bill Werde told me, “It’s the best cover we’ve ever done.” I agree!

Our LEAH SYDNEY caught Clive yesterday with Miguel for a private chat:

Leah- How do you feel about  tomorrow night?

Clive-  “I get as excited as the first. I’m very excited.”

Leah-Snazzy silver sneakers Clive!

Clive-  “They’re Prada sneakers.  Not ordinary sneakers.  They’re comfortable.  It’s the afternoon, I might even wear them at night. But I have different colors so I’m set.”

Leah-How has the party changed over the years?

Clive-  “The great thing about this party is that it hasn’t changed. The party celebrates music like no other party.  The party gets a guest list of people that attend from all walks of entertainment.  They’ll be actors, they’ll be heads of motion pictures studios.  Les Moonves chariman of CBS says it’s his favorite party of the year.  And of course the artists, they come back every year. And the executives. It’s a thrill because there is nothing like it.  They all have a great time.  Every year they come back and they say, ‘My God, it’s the best night ever.’  That makes me feel great.”

Leah-Who are you championing now?

Clive- “Miguel is not an artist that I’ve been involved professionally involved with.  But as a student of music, I feel that what Miguel is doing represents the best of the new music that is coming.  So that in choosing among  performers that might have broken through in the last year or two, I’m really happy to give him his featured spot.”

Leah-You’re still a student?

Clive-“Yes definitely.  Are you kidding?  I still bring home tapes on the music as it meets the chart every week to keep my ears current.  I’m looking for Jennifer Hudson, other artists like that.  If you do it, you pull yourself into it.  You take nothing for granted.”

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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