Music industry veteran Clive Davis will be honored by NYU Tisch School of the Arts at the school’s annual gala. A graduate of the program in 1953, he’ll join fellow alumnus Ang Lee, who received an MFA in film in 1984. The event will take place Monday, April 6, at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Manhattan.
“As both a music industry luminary and an essential member of the Tisch community, Clive Davis’s impact is immeasurable,” said dean Allyson Green. “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.”
The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, chaired by Jeff Rabhan, was conceived in 2002 as a new department — “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,” according to NYU. In 2011, Davis gifted an additional $5 million to NYU Tisch to expand the department, creating the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.
Davis, an attorney by trade who graduated Harvard Law School with honors, has played a pivotal role in signing and developing many of the best-known artists of the last five decades including Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Neil Diamond, Simon & Garfunkel, Sly & The Family Stone, Earth Wind & Fire, Whitney Houston, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, The Grateful Dead, The Kinks, Lou Reed, the Eurythmics, Dionne Warwick, Daryl Hall & John Oates and Carly Simon, among many others. Davis has helmed the labels Arista, J Records and CBS Records and has helped finance LaFace Records (TLC, Usher, Pink) and Bad Boy Records (Notorious B.I.G., Sean “Puffy” Combs). Since 2008, Davis, himself a five-time Grammy Award-winner, has held the title of chief creative officer at Sony Music Entertainment.