Belfast Telegraph

Clive Davis: Whitney made me proud

Whitney Houston made mentor Clive Davis “incredibly proud” during her career.

The singer passed away in February 2012 at the age of 48, and her mentor, Sony chief creative officer Clive, is promoting her new posthumous release, Whitney Houston Live: Her Greatest Performances.

The legendary music mogul, who produced the album, spoke with Billboard magazine about his most memorable moments with the late star.

One stand out was when she brought down the house at the Grammy Awards more than 25 years ago, with a performance of One Moment in Time.

"She was lifting the audience out of their seats in an environment [where] people don't have to do a roaring, standing ovation. But they did,” he told the magazine.

Clive continued to be a mentor to the singer throughout her career, although their relationship became strained as she struggled with substance abuse.

He also remembered in September 2004 seeing her for the first time in years, having last met at the 2001 Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special concerts in New York City “where she was skin and bones”.

Billboard reports Clive was due to receive a special honour at the World Music Awards, and she called to ask him if she could perform. He had his doubts.

“I said, 'Whitney, I'm touched, but I'm scared. What do you look like? What do you sound like?’” he recalled asking.

The producer set up a secret rehearsal, and was once again blown away by her talent.

"She's looking and sounding good, so I said, 'We're not going to tell anybody this: As part of my speech, I'm going to say, ‘The only way I know how to thank you properly for this award…’ and then I'm going to bring her on.'"

The performance, the outlet notes, left guests including Celine Dion and Chaka Khan “in tears”.

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