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Famed music executive Clive Davis comes out as bisexual in new memoir

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

In his new memoir, “The Soundtrack of My Life,” famed record producer and music industry executive Clive Davis comes out as bisexual.

Davis, 80, who is twice divorced, reveals that he first had sex with a man in the 1970s, that he hadn’t been repressed or confused during his marriages and that sex with a man “provided welcome relief.”

This Feb. 18, 2013 photo shows  Sony Music Entertainment's Chief Creative Officer of and famous hitmaker Clive Davis posing for a portrait in New York. Davis' releases his memoir "The Soundtrack of My Life," on Tuesday. (Photo by Dan Hallman/Invision/AP)

Clive Davis.
Photo: Dan Hallman, Invision/AP

He also writes that he started dating a man from 1990 to 2004, which he says was a “tough adjustment” for his son Mitchell. He says after “one trying year,” he and his son worked things out. Davis is the father of three children.

In an interview Monday with Cynthia McFadden on ABC’s Nightline, Davis expounds on his orientation:

Davis: It’s not as I write that the heavens opened up, but I realized in my case the most important thing — I’m relationship-oriented, and I would open up my perspective, my life, my emotion, to have a relationship with a man as well as a woman. And, so when it comes to the pure subject of sex, when our marriage was over, I did through a period of having sex with two different women, and with a male. So for me, this very maligned, misunderstood subject of bisexuality came up.

McFadden: It’s been said that people are either gay, straight, or lying.

Davis: Correct I’m not lying, and it exists. For over fifty years, I never had sex with a male. It wasn’t repressed, I had very good sexual relationships with women … I never felt shame (when I started having sex with men), no, I never felt shame. I felt puzzled. The subject of bisexuality really needs much more discussion because the answer is it’s a status that does exist.


Davis is currently the chief creative officer of Sony Music Entertainment. From 1967 to 1973, he was the President of Columbia Records. He was the founder and president of Arista Records from 1975 through 2000, and from 2002 until April 2008, was the Chairman and CEO of the RCA Music Group.

He currently plays a part in the careers of Aretha Franklin, Rod Stewart, Alicia Keys, Barry Manilow, Christina Aguilera, Carlos Santana, Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis and Jennifer Hudson. Davis is credited with bringing Whitney Houston to prominence.

He has won five Grammy Awards and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer.

He writes that he’s been in a “strong monogamous relationship” with a man for the last seven years.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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12 more reader comments:

  1. supprise supprise!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 10:21am

    Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 10:21am
  3. And all this time I thought he was gay.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 10:22am
  4. I just watched him on “The View”.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 10:22am
  5. 1) I’m not really all that shocked. 2) HE’S 80, I don’t want to think about who he’s sleeping with anymore. Kthx.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 10:27am
  6. Wow good for him

    Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 10:27am
  7. Who’s surprised? This is news????

    Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 10:30am
  8. Who’s this guy? Ah well another Bisexual man, welcome we have tea parties every Thursday

    Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 10:36am
  9. He’s the guy who gave Patti Smith her record contract in the mid 70′s, so he’s a god to me.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 10:42am
  10. This guy makes a lot of people rich. He is a music mogul, like for Diana Ross,,,the new stars from American Idol

    Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 11:23am
  11. First of all, it’s news because it’s not common that someone high profile comes out at all, let alone as bisexual; since the levels of biphobia among the queer community is ridiculous, we honestly should know better. Not to mention that coming out as a bisexual man has a whole different set of challenges then coming out as a bisexual woman (not more difficult mind you, just different)

    I think it’s important to highlight it when it comes into the public light, helps reduces stigma.

    Also, for the record as to whether this being a surprise or not? Well I didn’t know who the man was before I saw this article.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 3:33pm
  12. He was to Columbia/CBS records in the 70′s what Ahmet Ertegun was to Atlantic Records. A Mogul. A Starmaker.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 6:21pm