Clive Davis Biography: The Story of a Powerful Star Maker

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 is one of the most well-known and influential music producers and executives of all time. He earned this title by discovering, kickstarting, and producing music for some of the world’s biggest talents.

He has been in the spotlight for helping music legends such as Whitney Houston and Barry Manilow get their start. He has also lived an interesting life not only as a music producer but also in his personal life.

Want to know more about Clive Davis and his life? Keep reading to learn more.

clive davis height
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 16: Clive Davis attends The New York University Tisch School Of The Arts 2018 Gala at Capitale on April 16, 2018 in New York City. Image from Shutterstock.

Clive Davis’s Height

Most people know that Clive Davis has soared to the top of his career as a music executive from the beginning. As with many other celebrities, people wonder about the various facts about them, and Clive Davis is no different.

So, if you are wondering how tall is Clive Davis, he is about 5 feet 8 inches tall, although some report that he is much shorter. 

Related: Clive Davis’ Net Worth: The Richest Man in Music

How Much Does Clive Davis Weigh?

Another question that is often asked about various celebrities is how much they weigh. Although this number can change from year to year, he currently is said to weigh about 165 pounds.

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.

How Did Clive Davis Get His Start?

While most people know Clive Davis to be the music executive and producer who helped kickstart many musicians’ careers over the years, Clive Davis started in another industry.

Even though he started in another area of business, he soon realized what he was good at.

Clive Davis went to college, first at NYU, then he attended Harvard Law School, where he later took the bar exam to become a lawyer.

After joining a prestigious law firm in New York City, he was able to work with various companies, including record labels.

Soon after, he was offered a position at Columbia Records to be the General Counsel and did so for several years. After some time working for the record label, he was soon promoted to president.

Most people know that although he set out to be a lawyer, he found that he had a keen eye for spotting talent in the music industry. He went on to produce albums for superstars such as Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, and many more.

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

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 Divorces

Throughout his many years in the music industry, Clive Davis has not only been known for his passion for finding new talent but also for the ups and downs in his personal life. One well-known fact about Davis is that he has been divorced twice in his long life.

His first divorce was when his marriage to Helen Cohen fell apart in 1965 after being married for almost a decade.

Davis’s second divorce came from his marriage to Janet Adelberg in 1985 after 20 years of marriage.

Some reports show that in his first marriage to Helen Cohen, she said that she wanted to travel and not be tied down.

Although the details of his second marriage’s failure remain private, some truth has come out that Davis may have had relationships with men during their marriage, as revealed in his autobiography, The Soundtrack of My Life.

clive davis marries
BEVERLY HILLS – JANUARY 25: Jane Fonda, Clive Davis, & Jennifer Hudson arrive at the Clive Davis & The Recording Academy annual Pre-GRAMMY Gala on Jan 25 2014 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. Image from Shutterstock.

Who Is Clive Davis Married To?

After graduating from Harvard Law School, Davis not only joined a prestigious law firm but also got married for the first time to Helen Cohen in 1956. The couple stayed together while he joined Columbia Records. However, they divorced in 1965.

Clive Davis’s wife after that was Janet Adelberg, who he married in the same year as his divorce from Helen Cohen. This marriage seemed to be more solid since it lasted for many years until they divorced in 1985.

Currently, however, Clive Davis is married to anyone, and although there have been rumors of other partners, he remains single.

As with other celebrities, he has been linked with other people over the years, but much of his personal life when it comes to relationships has remained somewhat private.

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.

Is Clive Davis Bisexual?

Throughout his long career as a music producer and executive, Clive Davis has had quite a life.

He has produced and kickstarted many careers over the years and has either worked for or owned several recording companies.

There have also been a few autobiographical books that he has written throughout his life, one early on and the other more recently.

In 2013, Clive Davis wrote and released the book “The Soundtrack of My Life” in which he revealed that he is bisexual.

He goes on to explain that while he is only revealing this truth about himself in the book, he has known for many years. He stated that he first learned this when he was still married to his second wife, Janet Adelberg.

Since then, although much of this has remained private, it has been reported that he has been in a couple of long-term relationships with men.

Although this is true, Clive Davis has only been married to two women early on in his life.

In his book, and subsequent interviews after coming out as bisexual, it was revealed that while his children had a difficult time with the news initially, most have come to terms with the fact.

While this is true, it is also said that one of his sons, Mitchell, had a harder time with the news which led to a difficult time for a while.

Since the unveiling of his truth, Clive Davis has spoken out about having been in a relationship with one man that ended in 2004.

He has stated that he is in another relationship and has been for many years, although he never reveals the person’s name to protect their privacy.

clive davis
BEVERLY HILLS – FEB 7: Jennifer Hudson arriving at the Clive Davis and The Recording Academy present the Annual Pre-Grammy Gala in Beverly Hills, California on February 7, 2009. Image from Shutterstock.

Clive Davis’s Children

As previously mentioned, Clive Davis has been married and divorced twice throughout his life and career. As a result of the two marriages, Clive Davis is the father to four children, two with Helen Cohen and two with Janet Adelberg.

When he was married to Helen Cohen, the couple had Clive Davis’s first two children, Fred, who was born in 1960, and Lauren, born in 1962.

His other two children, from his marriage to Janet Adelberg, are Mitchell, who was born in 1970, and Doug, born in 1974.

Although all of his children do not share his love of producing music, a couple of them are known in the music industry by other means.

His son, Fred, is a well-known media investment banker, his daughter, Lauren, is an entertainment attorney, and another son, Doug, did follow in his father’s footsteps as a music executive and producer.

clive davis weight
L to R: Leona Lewis, Clive Davis & Carrie Underwood at music mogul Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. February 9, 2008 Los Angeles, CA Picture: Paul Smith / Featureflash. Image from Shutterstock.

Clive Davis’s Family

The legendary music producer Clive Jay Davis was born on April 4, 1932, to Jewish parents, Herman and Florence, in New York City.

Although a majority of his childhood was a normal upbringing in the Brooklyn borough of NYC, he saw some tragedy as a teenager.

Both of his parents passed away within two years of each other, which left Clive Davis alone and without any means to support himself.

Since his sister was much older and already married, he went to live with her as a teenager to finish his high school career.

With a stable home being provided to him by his sister, he was able to concentrate on his studies to the point where he received a full scholarship to New York University.

Without the scholarship, Clive Davis may not have been able to attend university.

Clive Davis is now known as one of the most prominent music producers in the world having produced albums for superstar musicians such as Chicago, Santana, and more.

After two marriages and divorces, Clive Davis also has his own family made up of four children.

clive davis
HOLLYWOOD/CAIFORNIA – AUG. 10, 2019: Terrazzo and brass star embedded into the sidewalk on the “Hollywood Walk of Fame” honoring Clive Davis, an American music executive. Hollywood, California USA. Image from Shutterstock.

Where Does Clive Davis Live?

Throughout his career and long life, Clive Davis has owned several different properties over the years, most of which have been located in New York State.

While many of the properties he owns are in New York City, he is also said to own an estate in upstate New York.

One of the properties that Davis is said to have purchased is about five separate units within one Manhattan building on Park Avenue. Although he has reportedly sold one of them for several million dollars, he is said to still own the others.

It has also been reported that Clive Davis owns a lavish estate in Westchester County, New York, where he is known to entertain guests. This property features an 8,000-square-foot home that is equipped with a home theater.

In 2021, Clive Davis is said to have purchased a new property in Tribeca that is in a building that is home to several other celebrities. This property features three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms and was purchased for just under $5 million.

Although the music executive has owned several properties over the years, it is obvious that New York City is the place that he calls home.

It is also known that three of his four children also call NYC their current home, while the fourth is said to live in Los Angeles currently.

What Did Clive Davis Do in Music?

Over the years, Clive Davis was the chief creative officer at almost every record company you can think of.

He worked at Arista Records, Sony Music Entertainment, CBA Records, CBS (and a CBA subsidiary), Bad Boy Records, and LaFace Records, all of which are based in the United States. 

It should come as no surprise that he worked with several famous artists, from Aretha Franklin to Alicia Keys and even Toni Braxton.

In fact, he became one of the only non-musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame which is why he is sometimes called the Golden Ear as a nickname. 

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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!


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