Clive Davis’ Net Worth: The Richest Man in Music

clive davis' net worth
New York, NY - October 16, 2019: Clive Davis attends the New York special screening of Western Stars at Metrograph. Image from Shutterstock.

Clive Davis is an American music producer who is one of the most influential and well-known producers of all time. Known to have had a hand in launching the careers of some of the best artists in the business, he has definitely made his mark on the music world. 

Throughout his career, working in music publishing for various recording companies, he has produced music for several artists with Billboard hits like Janis Joplin, Billy Joel, Jennifer Hudson, and Whitney Houston, just to name a few.

As such, you can assume he must’ve amassed quite an amount of wealth through the years

Are you wondering just what Clive Davis’ net worth is and how he earned this amount of revenue? Keep reading to find out more about this player in the recording industry who worked with several major record labels over the years.

Clive Davis’ Net Worth

Through his successful career as an American record producer, Clive Davis has amassed a net worth of about $850 million. Having been in the music business for more than 60 years, it is no surprise that Clive Davis’ net worth is higher than many others in his same line of work.

How Did Clive Davis Get Rich?

Many people wonder just how Clive Davis’ net worth came to be almost a billion dollars. Through his work with many of the biggest artists in the music industry, Davis has earned quite a reputation for success.

Throughout his career, he was well known for heading up several of the top record companies and major labels in the production business. Some of these companies include Columbia Records, J Records, Artista Records, and more.

With these various recording companies, he was able to record music for many different well-known artists over the years.

He had a talent for finding new artists and turning them into a star, signing contracts with these artists to earn some cash from their future record sales. 

He has also been credited with helping launch some artists launch successful careers, such as Whitney Houston, Aerosmith, Simon & Garfunkel, and Pink Floyd.

Since many of the artists he worked with have been successful in their careers, it is no surprise that Clive Davis is one of the top earners in the music industry. 

Related: 10 Surprising Simon & Garfunkel Facts: How They Met, Their Fights, and More

clive davis bio
NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 21: Clive Davis speaks during the “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert” at the Great Lawn in Central Park on August 21, 2021 in New York City. Image from Shutterstock.

Clive Davis’s Art Collection

Much of Clive Davis’s wealth has been used to purchase his extravagant art collection, which is said to be worth more than $100 million. He has collected many pieces throughout his career that has made many others envious.

Some of his art collection includes artists such as Picasso, Adolph Gottlieb, Andy Warhol, and many more. 

Clive Davis’s House

It is well known that Clive Davis has owned several pieces of real estate throughout his career, most of which have been in New York State. Some of these properties include several apartments in a Manhattan building and an extravagant estate in Westchester County.

The units he owned in Manhattan are located on Park Avenue and are said to be worth several million dollars. He attempted to sell one of the units in 2017 for $7.8 million, but it didn’t sell, so he reduced it by a million and then eventually gave up and took it off the market.

His estate in Westchester County is a sprawling compound that has a main residence that is more than 8,000 square feet and a guest house that is more than 6,000 square feet. It has also been reported that the main home includes a movie theater that can seat about 30 people.

How Much Does Clive Davis Make Per Year?

Knowing how much cash Clive Davis brings in per year has been somewhat of a mystery throughout the years.

It is important to keep in mind that he has not only worked for a variety of record labels throughout the years (Columbia Records, CBS, Arista Records, J Records, Sony, and RCA) but has also owned several of these record companies, bringing in a nice salary from owning the copyright to various songs. 

This means that much of Clive Davis’ net worth comes from royalties from the various musical artists he has worked with over the years and the new music he helped them release.

Being the record producer, he earns a percentage of the various recordings and merchandise that are produced by these artists as well (even some royalties from music on streaming services!)

Since he has signed and produced albums for artists who have found much success, such as Aerosmith, Whitney Houston, and Billy Joel, he has amassed quite a bit of revenue for himself over the years. 

What a career to envy! 

Related: How Did Whitney Houston Die? The Complete Tragic Story

What Awards Has Clive Davis Won?

Despite not being a musical artist, Clive Davis has personally signed and helped kick off the careers of many over the years. This is why it is no surprise that he has earned many music awards throughout his prolific career.

As a musical producer, Davis has been awarded at least five Grammy Awards for his work on various platinum albums with many artists in different genres.

These awards include Best Rock Album, Album of the Year (twice), Best Pop Vocal Album, Best R&B Album, and many more.

He has also received several other awards that were connected to the work he has done for the various artists he has signed.

One of the awards includes the Golden Plate Award, which he received in 2000 for his work in the record industry.

In addition to the awards he has received for his work as a record producer, he has also been known for his humanitarian efforts.

Because of this, he has received the Humanitarian Award more than once during his life.

clive davis whitney houston
Clive Davis and Whitney Houston at the 17th Carousel of Hope Ball to benefit The Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes. Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA. 10-28-06. Image from Shutterstock.

Clive Davis’s Early Life

Born on April 4, 1932, in Brooklyn, New York, Clive Davis grew up with his Jewish parents, Herman and Florence.

His parents reportedly died within two years of each other when Davis was a teenager, which forced him to go live with his sister and her husband in Queens.

Shortly after moving in with his sister, he first received a full scholarship to New York University, where he worked hard on his studies. Since he was brought up in a middle-class family, this was the only way he was able to attend college.

His hard work earned him a full scholarship to attend Harvard Law School, where he graduated in 1956. He was also a member of the Board of Student Advisers during his time at Harvard.

Throughout his time at both universities, he worked hard enough to earn top honors in his programs. After passing his bar exam, he was admitted to the New York Bar Association in 1957 and worked to secure a position in a reputable law firm.

Clive Davis’s Career

Once Davis graduated and passed the New York Bar exam, he secured a position in a somewhat small law firm.

From there, a few years later, he chose to work for a larger firm, which was the beginning of his career in the music industry.

While working for the law firm of Rosenman, Colin, Kaye, Petschek, and Freund, he was brought in to serve as assistant counsel to Columbia Records.

This was the first step that allowed him onto the music scene until he eventually became the general counsel for the record label which paved the way for his career in recording.

Once he was working with Columbia Records, the company made many changes along the way that led Clive Davis to become the Vice President and General Manager of the company.

Along the way, Davis began signing talent to the label, which ended up being a successful move.

During his tenure at Columbia Records, he was able to sign artists such as Janis Joplin, Santana, Billy Joel, and many more.

Before he moved on, he successfully added Aerosmith and Earth, Wind, and Fire, displaying his love of varying genres from rock to disco. 

Clive Davis was so successful at signing major artists that he chose to create his record label, Artista Records, in 1974.

He continued his success by signing big artists such as Air Supply, Alisha Keys, and Patti Smith and headed the label until the early 2000s.

Although he founded Arista Records, he ended up being fired from his role in 2000 for violating age restriction policies when signing unsigned artists. This issue caused the label to be dissolved during a major overhaul of RCA Records.

To continue his career of signing various artists throughout his career, he also co-founded the LAFace record label and then later established J Records. After this, Clive Davis was offered the opportunity to run RCA as their CEO and did so until about 2008.

In 2008, Clive Davis chose to make another move after Sony Corporation and BMG merged. Once they became Sony BMG, Davis became the chief creative officer and then soon was moved to be the same for Sony Music Entertainment.

Davis also had a part in developing Bad Boy Records, which he used to record music for new artists such as Sean Combs, Notorious B.I.G., Mase, and more.

Even though Clive Davis did not enjoy rap music (he preferred rock and roll!), he could see the advantage of adding these artists to the roster, many of which are some of the largest earners on Spotify and Apple Music today. 

Below is a full list of artists Clive Davis worked with during his career:

  • Donovan
  • Tony Orlando
  • Barry Manilow
  • Janis Joplin
  • Laura Nyro
  • The Electric Flag
  • Santana
  • The Chambers Brothers
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Chicago
  • Billy Joel
  • Blood, Sweat, & Tears
  • Loggins & Messina
  • Aerosmith
  • Pink Floyd
  • Dion DiMucci
  • The Byrds
  • Simon & Garfunkel
  • Paul Revere and the Raiders
  • Lynn Anderson
  • Earth Wind & Fire
  • Death
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Dionne Warwick
  • Patti Smith
  • Westlife
  • Al Jourgensen
  • The Outlaws
  • Eric Carmen
  • The Bay City Rollers
  • Expose
  • Taylor Dayne
  • Ace of Base
  • The Right Profile
  • Air Supply
  • Alicia Keys
  • Raydio
  • Carly Simon
  • Melissa Manchester
  • The Grateful Dead
  • The Kinks
  • Jermaine Stewart
  • Gil Scott-Heron
  • Lou Reed
  • TLC
  • Usher
  • P!nk
  • Toni Braxton
  • Notorious B.I.G
  • Craig Mack
  • Combs
  • Mase
  • 112
  • Faith Evans
  • Whitney Houston

clive davis
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 19: Barry Manilow and Clive Davis attend ‘Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives’ World Premiere at Radio City Music Hall on April 19, 2017 in NYC. Image from Shutterstock.

Clive Davis’ Wives

Clive Davis has been married a total of two times throughout his life but has been linked to other relationships along the way. He and his first wife, Helen Cohen, were married in 1956 but were divorced in 1965.

After his divorce from Cohen, he married Janet Adelberg in 1965, and they stayed married until 1985. It is also known that Clive Davis announced that he is bisexual in his 2013 memoir.

Clive Davis’ Children

Through his two marriages, Clive Davis has had a total of four children, two from his first marriage and the other 2 from his subsequent marriage. Interestingly enough, a few of his children currently work in the music industry.

Fred, born in 1960, and Lauren, born in 1962, were the result of his marriage to Helen Cohen, which ended in 1965. Mitchell, born in 1970, and then Doug, born in 1974, were the result of his second marriage to Janet Adelberg.


We hope you have enjoyed learning about Clive Davis’ net worth. As you can see, just because you aren’t a musician doesn’t mean you can’t make money in the music industry. Clive Davis is proof that anyone can make it if they have the passion–even if they aren’t singers or songwriters!

You May Also Enjoy:

Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





chuck berry songs

23 Best Chuck Berry Songs: Discover the Original Rock Legend

rolling stones songs

34 Best Rolling Stones Songs: The Ultimate Playlist