Shocked by her gaunt appearance at a Michael Jackson tribute concert, the singer's mentor put pen to paper and urged her to "face up to the truth" about her obvious substance abuse.
The letter was never made public - until now.
In the upcoming documentary Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Davis reads the note he sent to Whitney, begging her to turn her life around.
"Dearest Whitney," Davis wrote. "When I saw you Friday night at the Michael Jackson concert I gasped. When I got home, I cried. My dear, dear Whitney, the time has come. Of course I know you don't want to hear this. Of course I know that you're saying that Clive is being foolishly dramatic. Of course I know that your power of denial is in overdrive dismissing everything I and everyone else is saying to you...
"I join your mother in pleading with you to face up to the truth now, right now, and there is no more time or postponement. You need help and it must begin now. I will stand by you with love and caring to see you through it to newfound peace and happiness in every way as a woman, as a mother, as a role model to inspire the rest of the world."
Whitney did seek help and appeared to turn her life around, but she succumbed to her drug demons a decade later in 2012, when she drowned in a bathtub after suffering a drug-related heart attack while preparing to attend Davis' annual pre-Grammy Awards party in Beverly Hills.
The Clive Davis documentary has not yet been given a release date, but some of his famous friends have already seen a rough cut.
Alicia Keys, LL Cool J, and Barry Manilow were among the stars who sat through a screening Davis hosted in Hollywood back in August (16).
"I'm thrilled with the footage I've seen so far," Clive tells The Hollywood Reporter. "They've done an incredible job. I think it's honest; it's revealing and some of these things have never been seen before. The footage I've seen has knocked me out."