Sony Music is contemplating the possiblity that Clive Davis can bring the HITS back, even after he was stripped from his role as CEO at BMG.
The New York Post says, “He helped break out UK “Pop Idol” winner Leona Lewis in America, where she’s sold 1.1 million albums and 4.2 million downloads of the hit song “Bleeding Love,”. And this week Oscar winner and former “American Idol” contestant Jennifer Hudson’s 217,000-selling debut, was good enough for No. 2 on the Billboard charts.
The Post claims that Sony Music, US label group boss Rob Stringer has asked Davis to talk with the heads of Columbia Records and Epic Records about working on projects for some of the artists on their labels.
“Sony is turning to Clive as a resource because there’s no great [artist & repertoire] guys there anymore,” said one source.
Davis’ involvement with Columbia is certain to raise eyebrows given its hiring last year of uber-producer Rick Rubin as co-head of the label. Sources inside and outside Sony Music said the company considers Rubin “unproven” and his tenure a “disappointment.”
Others dispute that, saying Stringer and Barnett enthusiastically back Rubin.
With Rod Stewart set for a new release, and works by Houston and Kelly Clarkson, Davis has the talent. That, combined with Davis’ trust in the single, not the album, might be just what Sony Music needs in the singles-driven download market.
“Clive’s theory has always been about the song, not the artist or the album,” said Three Rings partner and artist manager Jeff Rabhan.
The Bottom Line: Why isn’t Simon Cowell mentioned in this whole mix? If it wasn’t for American Idol there would be NO Leona Lewis and Jennifer Hudson. American Idol is absolutely the best source for finding undiscovered talent as it gets hundreds of thousands of submissions. Isn’t it easy to put the best vocalists and performers with top songwriters and producers, and who already have the eyeballs through American Idol? I would say so! Also, you cannot compare Rubin and Davis. Rubin is in the studio with Metallica and Clive is hanging out at the Grammys. Clive wants a single and Rubin wants an album. Either way, it’s two different approaches to the record business and the last time I checked singles weren’t saving the biz.