Legendary music mogul Clive Davis has been working the phones for weeks to coordinate New York City’s “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert,” set for August 21 in Central Park. The star-studded event, featuring Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Kane Brown, LL Cool J, Maluma and more, is designed to celebrate the city’s return, Davis tells contributor Kelefa Sanneh in an interview for “CBS Sunday Morning,” to be broadcast August 15.
“We’re using music to not only change the mood, but we’re using music to symbolize the rebirth, revival, recovery,” Davis told Sanneh. “And that’s why it’s so special.”
When city officials decided to host the event to mark the end of COVID-19 lockdowns, they reached out to Davis, who has spent five decades in the music business and helped launch the careers of Springsteen, Whitney Houston and others. It will take place on the Great Lawn – the same spot where Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel performed before an estimated 500,000 people in 1981.
“We’ve been through, you know, a terrible period during the pandemic,” Davis said. “It’s affected each of us individually. It’s affected our city. It’s affected people of all genres and races and businesses and lives. So, I’m taking it very seriously … I will certainly not relax until the end.”
The live event is also happening at a time the world is battling the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, which has heightened concerns for any large gathering.
That part of the planning, Davis said, is the city’s responsibility: “They’re assuring us the environment will be totally safe, that they’re taking every precaution, and that proof of vaccination will have to be shown. And the maximum – yes, Simon and Garfunkel had 500,000 in that space. We are not having 500,000. The maximum is 60,000, so that, you know, it will be a much more spread-out situation.”
Davis talked with Sanneh about how the event came together, his storied career, his love of New York City, and more.
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