Music: Greatest Hitmaker

Clive Davis' job is to find new talent. Here's how he does it

This Saturday night, 24 hours before the 2003 Grammy Awards, Clive Davis will put on a tuxedo, tap a microphone and introduce guests at his annual pre-Grammy party to the best new artist--of 2004. "His name," Davis confides in advance, "is Gavin DeGraw. He's a piano player, a songwriter. A lot like Billy Joel or Elton John, but with the soul of maybe a Joe Jackson. He's gonna be a star."

Anyone with a Paula Cole CD collecting dust or an Arrested Development dashiki moldering in the closet has a right to be suspicious. Music executives prophesy long-term success for their...

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