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Clive's Speech

Ain't Music to Kelly's Ears

5/24/2007 8:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

After Clive Davis' very public display of rejection toward pop superstar Kelly Clarkson (via a speech that canonized Saint Carrie Underwood) on last night's "American Idol" finale, sources tell TMZ that SONY/BMG execs were apologizing to members of Clarkson's camp for their label head's rude behavior.

The 75-year-old owlish music mogul was tasked with speaking to the huge TV audience about the health of the "A.I" franchise and appeared to go out of his way to avoid mentioning Kelly's new single "Never Again" (which reached the Top 10 for heaven's sake!) or her forthcoming CD, "My December." Yet he somehow managed to find time to plug both Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee's new singles! Clive did briefly allude to two-time Grammy winner Clarkson -- but only to praise the talents of outside songwriters working with "Idols." Ouch!

Sources backstage at the finale report that Sony/BMG execs attempted to apologize to Kelly's team -- but their backtracking on behalf of the man with the golden ears fell on deaf ears. A well-placed source told TMZ, "Clive's actions, both delaying the album, and now this, tell you everything you need to know about how he feels about Kelly." That's no way to treat a 15-million-album-selling lady!

As TMZ reported
, the contentious feud erupted between honcho Davis and Kelly after she refused to make the "significant changes" to her new album (for which she wrote or co-wrote every song) -- that Clive demanded.

Artistic integrity - 1, The Man - 0!

A rep for Clive Davis told TMZ, "There is no truth to this story whatsoever. The focus of Clive's speech was on the recent Idol successes."

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