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Clive Davis


Clive Davis was born


Clive Davis’ attendance at the Monterey Pop Festival results in his first signings to Columbia Records


At Bill Graham’s suggestion, Clive Davis checks out Santana, whom he brings to Columbia.


Clive Davis signs Billy Joel and Aerosmith to Columbia, where they quickly become cornerstone artists. That same year, Davis is fired from Columbia Records in a controversy over alleged mismanagement of funds.


Clive Davis launches a new label, Arista Records.


Patti Smith signs to Arista. Her influential debut album, Horses, is released at the end of the year.


The Grateful Dead sign to Arista after the demise of their own label; a month later, they release Terrapin Station, their first album for the label.


After seeing her perform at a New York showcase, Clive Davis signs Whitney Houston. Her first album for Arista, released in 1985, hits #1 for 14 weeks and sells more than 12 million copies.


Producers L.A. Reid and Babyface sign a deal with Clive Davis to develop LaFace Records, an Atlanta-based label that becomes an Arista affiliate. It yields such top-selling artists as TLC and Toni Braxton. This same year, Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan releases her first album on Arista.


Arista partners with Sean “Puffy” Combs’ Bad Boy Entertainment, whose artist roster includes The Notorious B.I.G. and Ma$e.


Prince signs a distribution deal with Arista, his first involvement with a major label since 1996. Arista celebrates its 25th anniversary after having enjoyed its most successful year, which yielded $425 million in sales and 69 gold or platinum discs.


Clive Davis is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the fifteenth annual induction dinner. Patti Smith is his presenter.

Clive Davis