By the time Clive Davis' interview with Katie Couric aired on 'Katie' this afternoon (3 pm EST), the big bombshell had already been dropped: Clive Davis, in his new autobiography out today, came out as bisexual, having first begun a monogamous relationship with another man after his second marriage fell apart in the mid-1980s.
"First of all, i was only turning to bisexuality after my second marriage failed, so it was not an issue through my life," said Davis during the hour-long program dedicated to his career. "When the marriage failed in the mid-80s, i opened myself up to the idea that i could have a relationship with a man... I thought it was private, number one, but i did immediately reveal it to the people who count; my children, i was totally open to my close friends, I just didn't hold the sign up."
Davis continued, discussing why he didn't say anything about his bisexuality until now, saying, "There was a[n]... attitude toward bisexuality that you're either gay, straight, or lying. That's not true."
The episode of 'Katie' kickstarted with a behind-the-scenes look at Davis' infamous Pre-Grammy party, with a camera following hostess Jordin Sparks through the event and talking to the likes of John Legend, Alice Cooper, and Dave Grohl (the latter telling Sparks, "Clive Davis is the best ping pong player in the world"), while the first segment of Couric's interview with Davis centered on Whitney Houston's death right before last year's Grammy Awards. "It was stunning, it was devastating, and obviously compounded by the fact that we had this enormous party that she came for," he said. "The power of drugs gets everybody... You feel helpless when someone is in an addiction and is powerless to overcome the problem... What i felt was helplessness that it had come to this premature tragedy."
Addressing the rumors that Bobby Brown, Houston's ex-husband with whom she endured a tumultuous marriage, may have had a hand in Houston's drug use, Davis was diplomatic, if not dismissive. "I don't think Bobby Brown was the cause of the usage," he said. "But it clearly was a co-dependent relationship that really didn't bring out the best in both of them."
From there, Couric went through a brief retrospective of Davis' career, including his relationship with Janis Joplin ("Her voice was just riveting"), whom he claimed had wanted to sleep with him after they met in the 1960s. "I thought it was the highest compliment," he said, before relating a story about telling legendary live performer Bruce Springsteen that he needed to move around a little bit while on stage.
Couric then addressed Davis' more recent success, bringing out Usher to discuss Davis' influence on his career -- one that went both ways, as Davis said he used tapes of Usher's dance moves to other up and coming performers signed to Arista. "You were obviously influenced by Michael Jackson, but you were the only one coming up who was incorporating that type of talent into your own," Davis told Usher, who later admitted that his first stage name upon signing to LaFace Records in the 1990s was "Cha Cha." "So thank you, because I used you as an instruction guide."
Couric also briefly mentioned the name Kelly Clarkson, another Davis signee, who this afternoon released a statement on WhoSay.com alleging that Davis fabricated and misrepresented parts of their professional relationship in his memoir. "So I just heard Clive Davis is releasing a memoir and spreading false information about me and my music," Clarkson wrote. "I refuse to be bullied and I just have to clear up his memory lapses and misinformation for myself and for my fans. It feels like a violation. Growing up is awesome because you learn you don't have to cower to anyone -- even Clive Davis."
Davis' memoir, titled "The Soundtrack of My Life" and written with Anthony DeCurtis, is out today on Simon & Schuster.