Kelly Clarkson Fires Her Manager Over “December”-Related Tension

Jun 12th, 2007 // 10 Comments

snipshot_e4kj0ubevrf.jpgThe “Kelly Clarkson Vs. A Lot Of Record Industry Types” saga continues: Us Weekly is reporting that the singer has fired her manager, Jeff Kwatinetz, only two weeks before the release of her album My December:

A source confirms to that Clarkson has fired LA-based Jeff Kwatinetz, of the management company The Firm. “It is true. It just happened. It is a total shock but she wasn’t happy,” says the source, who adds that Clarkson has not yet decided on a new manager. Another source adds, “They majorly disagreed over the album and the direction and Kelly had enough.”

Those reports of friction are intriguing to us, since Kwatinetz has an executive producer credit on the album, which Kelly has been defending to every interviewer she’s sit down with recently. We’re honestly stumped as to what this might mean for December‘s June 26 release date. Thoughts?

Kelly Clarkson Fires Manager [Us]

  1. brasstax

    I’ll be her new manager. Seriously, how hard could it be?

  2. MC

    @brasstax: Dude, have you been following the news?

  3. gregcoff

    This is weird, because she really did defend him. Then again, you don’t start bashing people on your team while they’re on your team.

    I don’t see this as seriously hurting album sales. It’s not the kind of juice that gets on the cover of US Weekly and that’s what would make a noticeable dent.

    What I see as hurting album sales is an album without a serious hit on it. Clive Davis is an asshole for pushing too hard, granted. But Kelly can self-empower herself only so far. It’s not going to make “Never Again” anything more than a diet coke of a song.

  4. bedofnails


    90% of the job requires making all of the cupcakes disappear.

  5. MC

    @gregcoff: Leaving aside the fact that you’re totally wrong about “Never Again,” Kelly has pretty much come out and said that she doesn’t want to be Christina, Brittany, or Mariah. She wants to be Patty Griffin, Reba McIntyre, Emmylou Harris, or actually some new pop version of the singer/songwriter archetype. So I don’t think she’ll care much if the album doesn’t do “Breakaway” type numbers.

    Ultimately, what got her manager shitcanned, was that he did a poor job of managing the argument between the label and his client. It shouldn’t have been blown out of proportion in the media as a war; it should have been kept a bit more quiet. Now granted, it was a war, but the label was never going to not let her do what she wanted (for this album anyway) and he really probably made things a bit too hot.

  6. MC

    @bedofnails: Do you and brasstax coordinate your outfits in addition to your monikers?

  7. brasstax

    @MC: Once again, sarcasm falls victim to the lack of inflection the internet provides.

  8. gregcoff

    @MC: Good observations on the manager situation. It is too bad that the “story” of this album is a fight and she’s probably right to can him.

    That being said, I don’t buy the Patty Griffin/Emmylou Harris thing. Those artists didn’t want hits? I mean, I understand that she wants to be a “career” artist, meaning that she’s in control and we’re to accept the subsequent valleys and peaks. Fine. But given the choice, everyone wants great songs that do well.

    Making so much of a fuss about not being Christina or whatever strikes me as somewhat defensive justification of a subpar album, by both commercial and artistic standards.

    I also hate how she always tries to frame the debate as being between the “upbeat, happy” songs that the label wanted her to do and the “darker, more honest” songs that she wanted to do. It’s a wilfull misinterpretation of the situation. No label would care if the material was dark and sincere as long as it was catchy and got people excited.

    Of course, if “Never Again” gets you going, I can’t argue. I see it as Since U Been Gone lite, but then again I’m not on the Billboard Hot 100.

  9. Snikolas

    I just listened through the album, and none of the songs are that good at first listen. None of them stick in my head -the only ones that I’m thinking might grow on me are “Sober” and “Can I Have A Kiss.” Neither are a Since U Been Gone or even a Walk Away level song.

    How I Feel almost sounds like it would end up a hit, except that there are weird, unpolished sounding, odd notes that pop up throughout the song.

    Kelly herself has made it clear that she doesn’t care if the sales aren’t as strong as with Breakaway (and I would be shocked if they were), but, I can’t help but think that Kelly should’ve spent some more time writing songs and come out with an album that’s she’s as responsible for as My December. I don’t think this is about her being a woman wannabe songwriter (as she’s said in interviews). I think this has to do with her being a newbie songwriter. Few people can pen a handful of hit singles just out the gate.

    I think that Kelly has enough career capital that she will survive putting out an album that is not up to par with her others. I personally am disappointed just cause I was all excited about her new album and at the end of the day, as artistic or honest as the songs might be, they’re not that good.

    I think that Kelly is undervaluing the value of a talented singer performing a stellar interpretation of another person’s song and overvaluing performing one’s own work simply for the sake of performing one’s own work.

  10. Butch Huskey

    her concert sales which is the real money have been lackluster as well … that would probably be more of a final straw then the album debate ( i believe Kelly when she says that the album is her version of what she wants to do but i can imagine that the $88 ticket prices were not her idea )

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