Clive Davis, Whitney Houston mentor, reveals he's bisexual (Photos)
Clive Davis, an 80-year-old music executive and producer who served as a mentor to the late Whitney Houston, gets personal in his new book -- he reveals publicly for the first time that he is bisexual.
In the autobiography "The Soundtrack of My Life," which was released on Tuesday, February 19, he also recalls how he discovered the troubled pop star and the concern he felt and expressed to her personally about her drug abuse.
Davis, who has been married twice to women and divorced twice and has three sons and a daughter, recently discussed his new book in an interview with ABC's "Nightline" that aired on Monday. He told host Cynthia McFadden that he dated both women and men when he was single.
"I'm not lying and [bisexuality] exists," he said. "For over 50 years I never had sex with a male. It wasn't repressed. I had very good sexual relationships with women."
"I never felt shame, no," he added. "I never felt shame. I felt puzzled. This subject of bisexuality really needs much more discussion because the answer was ... that it does exist. I dated. I dated a few women and a few men and I met a man that I'm currently in a relationship with."
Davis and his partner have been together for seven years. He is not named in the book. Davis said the man is "very much" part of his life and also spends time with his family.
In 1967, at age 35, Davis became the president of Columbia Records and signed acts such as Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd and Neil Diamond, according to his official bio. In 1974, he founded Arista Records and signed Barry Manilow, who later released the hit ballad "Mandy."
Davis later founded J Records and is currently the chief creative officer of Sony Music Entertainment. In recent years, he has produced albums for the likes of Kelly Clarkson -- who took to her WhoSay account on Tuesday to rant about Davis' book, which she says includes false information about her.
Whitney Houston's "skeletal figure"
Davis discovered Houston when she was 19 years old, at a nightclub. The iconic singer, best known for her songs from the 1992 film "The Bodyguard," which marked her film debut, died at age 48 on Feb. 11, 2012 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. The cause -- accidental drowning in a bathtub, spurred by cocaine use and a preexisting heart condition (see more details from the Whitney Houston autopsy report).
In a 2001 letter reprinted in the book, Davis expresses his concern about her "skeletal" appearance at Michael Jackson's 30th Anniversary Special concert in New York City -- which celebrated 30 years of the solo career of the King of Pop, who died himself on June 25, 2009 (Check out OTRC's coverage of Michael Jackson and his former doctor Conrad Murray's death trial.
"After I saw her as a skeletal figure at the Michael Jackson Madison Square Garden concert ... from my heart, I wrote her a letter that it was time to deal with clearly a drug problem that she could no longer ignore," Davis said on "Nightline" about Houston.
"She did not reply," he added. "I do know that she got the letter. I do know when I brought this subject up to her personally ... I think it was the year 2000 and Bobby Brown was actually in jail and advised her that she must get rehab treatment intensely and she was not ready."
Brown, who was married to Houston for 15 years until 2007, has battled substance abuse and has undergone rehab himself. He served several weeks in jail for a probation violation.
Houston's mother Cissy had written in her own recently-released book that she believes "it would have been easier" for her daughter to "get sober and stay sober" had she not stayed with Brown, who she says "wanted to party" and "never seemed to be a help to her in the way she needed."
Brown has not commented, while his and Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina says she is boycotting her grandmother's book.
Houston died at the same hotel where Davis was set to host his annual pre-Grammy Awards party. The bash took place as scheduled, with top performers such as Alicia Keys, and Davis dedicated it to the singer, while coroner's office officials worked inside her room, alongside her lifeless body, to gather evidence to determine how she died.
"Going through the event that night ... was a no brainer," Davis told CNN in an interview released on February 8. "Whitney was here not to perform but it was her favorite night of the year, so that whether it was the Grammy party or whether it was the Grammy Awards show the new night, there was never a question that we would not celebrate music in her honor."
"I was personally shattered," he added. "The audience, I know, was feeling an emotional devastation. But I would say 99 percent of the calls that I got [were like] 'Don't leave us alone, we want to be with each other, we don't want to sit in our hotel rooms having come from either Europe or across from the East Coast. We want to be with our musical brothers and sisters.'"
"There might have been a few people who did not want to attend and of course, that's their prerogative," Davis told CNN. "There are no rights or wrongs when such a tragedy occurs but the room was packed. It was standing room only from beginning to end. We did justice to Whitney's musical heritage and I am really the bearer of her flame."
(Pictured above: Whitney Houston is seen with music producer Clive Davis, in 1983, shortly after signing a contract with Arista Records. / President of Arista Records Clive Davis, center, is flanked by singers Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown on Sept. 14, 1995, during a dinner to honor Davis in New York. Davis was honored by the T.J. Martell Foundation, the music industry's largest supporter of leukemia, cancer and AIDS research. / Credit: AP Photos / Paul Hurschmann)
Watch Clive Davis' interview on ABC's "Nightline" below.