Clive Davis

From the L.A. Times, where you can also read on the legendary producer/music mogul speaking on his pre-GRAMMY party, an upcoming Aretha Franklin album and more:

Clive Davis typically has many irons in many fires. So even though he’s holed up in an elegant Beverly Hills Hotel bungalow he’s had at his disposal “forever” — fielding phone calls, e-mails and, yes, even faxes while organizing the annual pre-Grammy Awards bash he’s again hosting at the Beverly Hilton Hotel — the veteran producer and record executive makes a point of talking about a project especially close to his heart: a Whitney Houston live album.

“Whitney never had a live album,” he said. “I really want everyone to know … exactly why during her time she was considered the greatest contemporary singer in the world.

It was two years ago, on the afternoon of his Grammy eve bash, that he and the rest of the world got the word that Houston died in the very hotel where the party was being readied.

“It’s a revelation to hear her,” he said, “but listening to her, the tragedy hits you again, so there are a lot of mixed emotions this brings up.

“I’m going through all these recordings of her performances now, many of which I wasn’t at, such as when she was in South Africa,” said Davis, 81, dressed business casual this week in a navy V-neck sweater over a white oxford shirt and tie. “It’s a revelation: You really hear how astonishing and powerful and compelling she was in a way that wasn’t captured on the studio albums or in her movie performances.”

Davis said he expects the album to be released this year. He hinted that he might just preview it by playing a video clip for his industry audience on Saturday, which will be attended by heavy hitters from the entertainment industry including Metallica, Gladys Knight, Quincy Jones and Napster founder Sean Parker, to name a few.

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