Clive Davis

Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award

Clive Davis has had a profound effect on the world of music.

Davis began his career at Columbia Records and, by the mid-60’s, was named President of the company. He personally signed Janis Joplin’s Big Brother and The Holding Company to Columbia. After that, he was directly responsible for the signing of many more landmark artists in the rock field, among them Blood, Sweat & Tears, Chicago, Santana, Boz Scaggs, Loggins & Messina, Laura Nyro, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Aerosmith.

In addition to bringing this fresh, brand new talent to Columbia, he signed such artists as Neil Diamond, Pink Floyd, Herbie Hancock, The Isley Brothers and Earth, Wind & Fire. Together with Columbia Pictures, he founded Arista Records in the fall of 1974. Under Davis’ leadership, Arista launched the careers of Whitney Houston, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, Kenny G, Sarah McLachlan, Monica, Deborah Cox, Next, Dido and Angie Stone. The label also attracted such important artists as Aretha Franklin, The Grateful Dead, The Kinks, Eurythmics, Dionne Warwick, Daryl Hall & John Oates, and Carly Simon.

In 2000, Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and, almost simultaneously, it was announced that the celebrated Arista chief would be the recipient of a Lifetime achievement award by NARAS at the Grammy Awards.

In August of that year, Davis began a new phase in his career unveiling J Records, the largest new label ever launched in music industry history. This year, Clive Davis was named Chairman/CEO of the RCA Music Group and now oversees both J Records and RCA Records.

Davis’ passion for music is matched by a passion for helping his fellow man. The recipient of many Humanitarian honors from organizations such as the TJ Martell Foundation, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Cancer Society, Davis began his tireless efforts in the battle against AIDS in 1985. One of the foremost leaders in the battle against the disease, Clive Davis has spearheaded the donation of millions of dollars to AIDS charities over the past 15 years.