Conspiracy Theory: Was Clive Davis Behind Beyoncé's Grammy Slap at Aretha?

Photo: AFP, Getty Images

Sunday night at the Grammys, during a performance that likely appealed to multiple generations and will certainly be responsible for tons of record sales, Beyoncé, introduced Tina Turner as "the Queen" and mentioned Aretha Franklin — officially known as the "Queen of Soul," we guess — only in passing while shouting out names of other icons, like Sarah Vaughn and Chaka Khan (see the video here). Aretha's pissed, apparently, even going so far as to issue a statement through her publicist: "I am not sure of whose toes I may have stepped on or whose ego I may have bruised between the Grammy writers and Beyoncé … However, I dismissed it as a cheap shot for controversy."

But didn't she just step on somebody's toes last week? Aretha told Variety that she'd split with Sony-BMG's Arista Records after Clive Davis failed to make her an acceptable offer for her forthcoming album and would instead be releasing it through the AARP (yes, really). All of this must have happened pretty recently, because, in his profile in this week's Rolling Stone (sadly not online) Davis talks excitedly about putting out said record. And doesn't everybody at the Grammys just do what he tells them to do? Isn't that how Alicia Keys got two performances? Could he also have had a hand in Beyoncé's intro? Or was it just crappy writing, like every other part of Sunday's ceremony? We have no idea, but we're certainly not above baseless speculation!

Aretha Franklin calls Beyonce’s Grammy intro a “cheap shot" [AP]
Earlier: Aretha Franklin Splits With Record Label, Signs With AARP?