Tribeca: Opening night sees Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson toast a music legend

Tribeca: Opening night sees Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson toast a music legend

A new documentary based on music industry icon Clive Davis' 2013 memoir The Soundtrack of My Life will get its world premiere as the kickoff of the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival Wednesday night at New York City's Radio City Music. Davis has signed, influenced and driven the careers of numerous most important music artists of the 20th and 21st Centuries including Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Santana, Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, Alicia Keys, Sean "Puffy" Combs, and a great many more who attest to Davis as, in Aretha Franklin's words, "the greatest record man of all time".

Despite not being in the best of health, the 75-year-old Franklin was determined to pay tribute to Davis - who signed her to his Arista label in 1980, helping reinvigorate her career - as part of a post-screening live performance. "The Soundtrack of Our Lives", directed by Chris Perkel, gave a peek into Davis' personal and professional life.

Davis' most famous discovery, Whitney Houston, was also acknowledged by way of a medley sung by Jennifer Hudson.

Davis added: "It is an incredible milestone to have a film about my life premier on opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival in an iconic venue such as Radio City Music Hall".

When we get to Houston's death, the film starts to feel like a documentary on her life instead of Davis'. "But I wasn't going to miss this evening".

Hudson made a beeline for Davis when she stepped from the stage into the audience, microphone in hand. After working as a lawyer for Columbia Records, he was promoted to president in 1967, despite not desiring a career in music.

"Where is Clive at?" she yelled. It has been acquired by Apple, and will soon be available to Apple Music subscribers. She also called her longtime collaborator a "chieftain" and "humanitarian". Tragically, Houston died on the night of Davis' 2012 pre-Grammy party, and the film explores his loss there, in the context of being orphaned in college when both of his parents died within a year of one another.

Davis is the producer behind artists such as Aretha Franklin, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, and Alicia Keys.

The announcement that Apple bought the rights to the documentary was announced just before its Tribeca premier, according to Deadline.

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