This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 07, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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Bill O'Reilly: "Back of the Book" segment tonight, new book called "The Soundtrack of My Life," written by one of the most powerful men in the pop music industry, Clive Davis.
Mr. Davis was very close to Whitney Houston who, pretty much, destroyed herself with drugs. And that's where I began the conversation with Clive Davis last night.
O'REILLY: Whitney Houston was a close friend of yours in addition to being a client, correct.
CLIVE DAVIS, RECORD PRODUCER AND MUSIC INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE: That's true.
O'REILLY: What was the genesis of her problem. Where did that problem begin.
DAVIS: I don't know when the problem began. I do know that when I discovered her when she was 19, she was full of energy and wonderful spirit. She loved music. She was a work horse.
WHITNEY HOUSTON, RECORDING ARTIST: I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.
DAVIS: Her first album just didn't break here in America. It broke in every country in the world.
She won everywhere for the first two albums and just loved it.
O'REILLY: And she was clean back then, right.
DAVIS: Oh, she had to be, of course.
O'REILLY: All right. So, she wasn't troubled. It wasn't like you were bringing in a juvenile delinquent or something.
She was a woman who had the talent.
DAVIS: Oh, her mother was a minister in the church and, no, there's no question, absolutely.
O'REILLY: OK. And then she evolved into this worldwide superstar.
HOUSTON: Oh, I wanna dance with somebody.
O'REILLY: And then descends into the world of drugs.
DAVIS: Well, I did meet with her at my home over a weekend.
I then saw her a year later, you know, at the Michael Jackson Madison Square Garden concert where she had really become skeletal.
So, I did confront her with this. And, at first, she was in denial.
O'REILLY: But that doesn't -- well, there isn't any such thing as in denial.
She's lying to you. Because she knows she's taking cocaine or whatever other substances but she doesn't want -- she's probably ashamed or whatever and she just doesn't admit it.
So you were saying to her, hey look, you know, you're taking what God gave you, which is an amazing gift --
O'REILLY: -- and you're throwing it away.
O'REILLY: What did she say back.
DAVIS: When I first confronted her, she said, "It's not a serious problem. You're making more of it."
O'REILLY: You are making more of it.
DAVIS: I am making more of it.
O'REILLY: OK, so she wouldn't admit it.
DAVIS: She would not admit it.
O'REILLY: All right. Then when it got to the point where she is a skeleton and it's, you know, you're seeing that the woman's career may go down the drain, what did she say then.
DAVIS: She was not ready to do something about it.
O'REILLY: So, the drugs were more important than her career, her self-esteem, or whatever?
DAVIS: Well, clearly.
O'REILLY: Janice Joplin is another one who you knew very well, who you discovered.
DAVIS: I didn't know her nearly as well --
O'REILLY: As Whitney.
DAVIS: I discovered her. This was the first artist I've ever discovered in my line. O'REILLY: But the history of the rock pop world is littered with the corpses of people sticking needles in their arms or powder up their nose. And Whitney Houston had to know that.
DAVIS: You know, she was told it. But it's one thing to be logical. It's another thing to, whether it's a parent, whether it's a close friend, you know that the subject has to sink to that level to want to get better.
O'REILLY: And she didn't, OK. Well, I mean, that's what happens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
When you got the call that Whitney Houston was dead in Beverly Hills, your reaction? What went through your mind.
DAVIS: Obviously, I was stunned, devastated, shattered.
She came as a civilian to attend the Grammy party that I hold the night before the Grammys.
This was her favorite party for the last 20 years. She was there merely to just take in the music. The artists had come from all over the world, The Kings, Elvis Costello, Jackson Brown, Tony Bennett, Diana Ross, Jamie Foxx.
They were all scheduled to sing, Alicia Keys. She was there to enjoy it.
O'REILLY: Of all the people that you've seen in the rock-pop world, who is the most talented.
DAVIS: Wow. I would say, from an all-around point of view, Bruce Springsteen is one of the two great poet lords of America, Bob Dylan, coming out of the music world, the two of them.
So, Bruce writes from the heart. He's a magnificent writer. But he has also become the greatest rock and roll performer live. And that combination is spectacular.
O'REILLY: Mr. Davis, thank you. The book is "The Soundtrack of My Life" and number two in the "New York Times" bestseller list. Congratulations.
DAVIS: Thank you so much. Thank you.
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