Clive Davis is a music industry god. He helped usher in the superstar careers of Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys, and worked with the legendary likes of Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Santana and Aerosmith. But since the 80-year-old released his new autobiography, The Soundtrack of My Life, last month, it isn't just his hitmaking history and high-profile friend list that has people talking. Near the end of the book, Davis reveals his bisexuality. And in an interview with MTV, Davis revealed that one of his biggest inspirations is Frank Ocean, who made a similar confession last year.
"Put my story aside it was very brave of him," said Davis, who's been with the same male partner for more than seven years after two divorces from women.
The music mogul was also pleased by the way the hip hop world embraced Ocean, who's a member of the Odd Future crew. "I'll tell you what was heartwarming was the reaction of the hip hop community," Davis said. "I mean, they accepted him as a person. This could have been very controversial."
Davis added that although people are becoming more tolerant of bisexuality and homosexuality, public figures are still taking a huge risk coming out. "You take an actor, a romantic actor, or years ago you take a leading man romantic singer that has fan clubs of females all over the world one way or another…it's terribly detrimental to their career," he said." That's why you do have a number of people scared to death that their careers could be so adversely affected."
Davis pointed out that a leading romantic male actor still hasn't come out and that society is making progress but still has a ways to go. "Nobody should be fooled, but I think that that the signs are good of tolerance, of humanity, of understanding, but one really has to be vigilant here," he said.
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(Photos from left: Dan Hallman/Invision/AP, Jason Merritt/Getty Images)