We now live in an age when glamorous, hey-look-at-me belters so dominate the pop-music firmament that you can barely tell who's doing the shouting. So it may be hard for some to remember -- or imagine -- what it was like to behold Whitney Houston for the first time. Not even your first taste of snow, your first meaningful kiss, your first encounter with one of the seven natural wonders quite aligns with the experience -- unless as some rough combination of all three.
Until this week, the rules of the music industry didn't apply to Clive Davis. At 76, Davis held the top job at SonyBMG's BMG Music Group, playing Svengali to teen idols like Kelly Clarkson and Alicia Keys. The legendary record man acted as if he'd be in charge forever, thanks to his uncanny ear for a gold record, to say nothing of his genius for self-promotion and his corporate survival skills.