Clive Davis will be honored at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts 2020 Gala.
“As both a music industry luminary and an essential member of the Tisch community, Clive Davis’s impact is immeasurable,” said Allyson Green, Dean, NYU Tisch School of the Arts. “Clive has continually reinvented the idea of the creative producer during his lifelong commitment to championing music artists. At Tisch, Clive’s dedication and generosity are reflected in his significant contributions to the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, where his legacy and influence will reverberate with future generations of music makers. We’re excited to honor Clive and his fundamental role in developing an institute unlike any other in the world.”
In 2002, Davis announced a $5 million gift to the school for the creation of a new Department of Recorded Music, the first of its kind to offer a four-year, degree-granting undergraduate program that recognizes the creative producer as an artist and musical recording itself as a creative medium. In 2011, Davis made an additional gift of $5 million to NYU Tisch to expand the department, creating the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, home to stellar working professionals and a generous scholarship fund to support young talent from around the world.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Davis was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of New York University, where he received his B.A. magna cum laude. He later graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. As the record industry’s most innovative and influential executive, Davis has had a profound effect on the world of music.
Davis is directly responsible for the signing of many landmark artists, among them Janis Joplin’s Big Brother and The Holding Company; Blood, Sweat & Tears; Chicago; Santana; Boz Scaggs; Loggins & Messina; Laura Nyro; Billy Joel; Bruce Springsteen; Aerosmith; and Earth, Wind and Fire. In addition, he attracted to the label Neil Diamond; Pink Floyd; Herbie Hancock; and The Isley Brothers. He played a key role in the careers of Simon & Garfunkel, Sly & The Family Stone, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand and Andy Williams. Thereafter, under Davis’s leadership at Arista Records, Whitney Houston, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, Kenny G, Sarah McLachlan, Monica and Dido all launched their careers. The label also attracted such important artists as Aretha Franklin, The Grateful Dead, The Kinks, Lou Reed, the Eurythmics, Dionne Warwick, Daryl Hall & John Oates and Carly Simon. Davis had Arista finance LaFace Records, and thereafter LaFace built an outstanding roster of hit-making artists including TLC, Toni Braxton, Usher, OutKast and Pink. At Bad Boy Records, financed by Arista, he helped grow the artist roster to include Notorious B.I.G., Faith Evans, Mase, 112 and Sean “Puffy” Combs. Davis also created J Records, which emerged as a dominant music force with chart-topping albums by Alicia Keys, Maroon 5, Annie Lennox, Luther Vandross, Rod Stewart and Jennifer Hudson. Since 2008, Davis has served as Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment. Currently, Davis is also working as an executive producer on an eight-part television series produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard for Disney on the life of Aretha Franklin.
A five-time Grammy Award-winner, Davis has received numerous awards and recognitions over the course of his career. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and he received the Grammy Trustees Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), which also named the prestigious state of the art theater inside the Grammy Museum the “Clive Davis Theater.” He is also the recipient of many humanitarian honors from organizations such as the T.J. Martell Foundation, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Cancer Society. Davis received the Humanitarian Award from the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) for his efforts in the battle against AIDS.
Davis is also the best-selling author of Clive: Inside The Record Business and his autobiography, The Soundtrack of My Life. His life was documented by the Ridley Scott firm in the award-winning documentary film, Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives.
Since its founding in 1965, NYU Tisch School of the Arts has established itself as one of the leading arts schools in the country. It draws on the vast artistic and cultural resources of New York City and New York University to create an extraordinary training ground for artists, scholars and innovators. Today, students learn their craft in a spirited, risk-taking environment that combines the professional training of a conservatory with the liberal arts education of a premier global university with campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, Shanghai and 11 academic centers around the world.
Thousands of NYU Tisch alumni have gone on to enjoy fulfilling careers in the arts, including renowned artists such as Pulitzer Prize winners Annie Baker (also a MacArthur Fellow), Tony Kushner, Doug Wright and Chang Lee; Academy Award winners Mahershala Ali, Kevin Willmott, Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Spike Lee, Marcia Gay Harden, Mark Bridges and Keiko Ibi; Tony Award winners Ali Stroker, Nina Arianda, Beowulf Boritt, Steve Kazee, George C. Wolfe, Michael Mayer, Idina Menzel, Stephen Spinella, Frank Wood and Paul Tazewell; Emmy Award winners Alec Baldwin, Sterling K. Brown, Billy Crystal, Vince Gilligan, Donald Glover (also a Grammy Award winner as Childish Gambino), Camryn Manheim and Debra Messing; Golden Globe winners Rachel Brosnahan, Rachel Bloom and Gina Rodriguez; acclaimed filmmakers Amy Heckerling and Colin Trevorrow; Grammy Award winners Lady Gaga (also an Academy Award winner) and Amber Gray; Grammy Award nominees Maggie Rogers and Elle Varner; entrepreneur Dennis Crowley; MacArthur Fellowship recipients Kyle Abraham, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (also a Pulitzer Prize finalist), Camille Utterback and Mimi Lien; visual artist Leo Villareal; actors Danai Gurira and Corey Stoll; and photographer Tyler Mitchell