Superstar music producer Clive Davis is bringing his love letter to Whitney Houston to the big screen in “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”
“Extra’s” Carlos Greer sat down with Davis, the man behind music legends like Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, and Aretha Franklin, about the film, which doesn’t shy away from Whitney’s struggles and also sets the record straight on her secret relationship with her assistant Robyn Crawford.
Clive noted about Whitney and Robyn’s secret relationship, “They did have a teenage, one-year affair.”
As for why it was important not to gloss over their relationship, Clive explained, “There have been so many articles that have…attempted to trace her addiction to being a frustrated lesbian or never dated a man before Bobby, all of which was totally inaccurate.”
“I know of several men that she dated before Bobby,” Davis emphasized. “I mean, she did see Jermaine Jackson for two years.”
Davis also raved about Naomi Ackie, who portrays the late icon in “I Wanna Dance with the Somebody.” He said, “Her audition tape stood out from the very beginning… the lip-synching was fabulous.”
Watching Stanley Tucci portray Clive in the film was a “little weird” for Davis at first. He got over the weirdness, calling Tucci a “master actor.”
What would Whitney think of the movie? Clive answered, “She and I were pretty in sync on almost every issue. I’m proud, and I believe Whitney would be proud, too.”
While Houston’s life ended tragically in 2012, Clive hopes to celebrate her music and life with the film.
As for their last conversation, Clive recalled, “My real last conversation with her was 48 hours before she passed away. I was in L.A., we were getting ready… [for] my Grammy party. I didn’t know she was going to surprise me and sing there. We spent the whole afternoon together. She wanted to assure me… and this is hard to express… that she had beaten her addiction. Not only to drugs, but to cigarette smoking. I had no clue that her passing was abruptly to come.”
Davis also revealed his favorite Whitney performance, saying, “The first time I heard her sing, ‘Greatest Love of All’… she was a genius and she has made that song an all-time classic.”
“I Wanna Dance with Somebody” is in theaters December 23.