|Born||December 9, 1970|
Ossining, New York, U.S.
Kara Elizabeth DioGuardi ( // ; born December 9, 1970) is an American songwriter, record producer, music publisher, A&R executive, singer, composer and television personality. She writes music primarily in the pop rock genre. DioGuardi has worked with many popular artists; sales of albums on which her songs appear exceed 160 million worldwide. DioGuardi is a Grammy and Emmy-nominated writer. She is a 2011 NAMM Music For Life Award winner, 2009 NMPA Songwriter Icon Award winner, 2007 BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year, and has received 20 BMI Awards for co-writing the most performed songs on the radio.
DioGuardi served as a judge on American Idol for its eighth and ninth seasons. In 2008, she was appointed to the position of executive vice president of talent development at Warner Bros. Records, and has signed acts such as Jason Derulo and Iyaz. In 2011, she was a head judge on the Bravo singer-songwriter competition series Platinum Hit .
DioGuardi was born in Ossining, New York.She is descended from Roman Catholic Arbëreshë/Albanian from Italy. Her father is former Republican Congressman and 2010 US Senate candidate Joe DioGuardi. Her mother Carol died in 1997 after a 7-year battle with ovarian cancer.
DioGuardi grew up in the Wilmot Woods section of suburban New Rochelle, New York,and attended elementary school at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School in Scarsdale, New York, followed by The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, New York, before earning a degree in political science at Duke University. After graduating from college, she worked for Billboard magazine as an assistant to Timothy White and Howard Lander and later as an advertising sales representative.
DioGuardi has a songwriting catalog of several hundred songs, of which over 300 have been released on major labels worldwide, and over 150 have appeared on platinum selling albums. She has had 50 international charting singles over the course of her career, and her songs have helped propel more than 66 albums into the Top Ten of the Billboard 200. Her songs have been featured in major motion pictures, television shows, film soundtracks, and radio spots, as well as national and international commercial campaigns.
She wrote with Ashlee Simpson for her first and second albums, in 2003 and 2004. She collaborated with Thalía in 2003 for her self-titled album Thalía . In 2004, DioGuardi co-wrote on six of the tracks off Kelly Clarkson's sophomore album Breakaway including Clarkson's hit "Walk Away". DioGuardi then worked with Australian singer, Ricki-Lee Coulter, on her 2005 single, Sunshine from her debut studio album, Ricki-Lee, which was released in October of that year. She also worked with Christina Aguilera on her album Back to Basics in 2006, co-writing twelve of the thirteen tracks on disc one of the album, among them being "Ain't No Other Man", and "Back in the Day". In the same year, she collaborated with Jesse McCartney on his album Right Where You Want Me , co-writing four songs called "Anybody", "Invincible", "Running Away" and "Feels Like Sunday".
In 2007, DioGuardi worked with many notable artists, one of whom was Britney Spears. DioGuardi wrote and produced "Ooh Ooh Baby" and co-produced "Heaven on Earth" on Spears' album Blackout . DioGuardi also contributed a majority of songs on Hilary Duff's fourth studio album, Dignity .
Since American Idol Season 8, DioGuardi returned to songwriting and producing, and has worked with number of artists, including Pink's "Sober," Kelly Clarkson's "I Do Not Hook Up," Cobra Starship's "Good Girls Go Bad," Katharine McPhee's "Had It All", Carrie Underwood's "Undo It", and Theory of a Deadman's "Not Meant to Be" among other new releases.
Among DioGuardi's projects is the song "Not Meant to Be", which appears on Theory of a Deadman's 2008 album, Scars & Souvenirs .DioGuardi co-wrote the song with lead singer Tyler Connolly, and is also featured as the love interest in the music video which was released on March 10, 2009. This was her debut in the music video industry.
In 2009, DioGuardi wrote "If I Can't Have You" for Meat Loaf's 2010 album, Hang Cool Teddy Bear and recorded the vocal as a duet with Meat Loaf. She is also one of the writers for "Ghost", which was released as a single from Fefe Dobson's album Joy (2010). She wrote songs for Aussie singer Natalie Imbruglia's third studio album Counting Down the Days .
After taking a break from writing she wrote on Kelly Clarkson's "Heartbeat Song" which was the first single from Clarkson's seventh studio album Piece by Piece (2015). She wrote "Rebel Hearts" for Hilary Duff's Breathe In Breathe Out album in 2015.
DioGuardi has also written for films and television series. She wrote "Brand New Day" for Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam , "We Rock" and "Play My Music" for Camp Rock , "He Could Be the One" for Hannah Montana , "Set This Party Off" for Jonas and "Someone Watching over Me" for Raise Your Voice . She has also written songs that have been used as themes such as "Taking Chances" on Glee , "Come Clean" on Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County , "Autobiography" on The Ashlee Simpson Show and "Ain’t No Other Man" on Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel .
DioGuardi co-owns Arthouse Entertainment, a publishing company that is a resource business for record companies and other music entities seeking compositions, productions, artists, and related music services. Arthouse has been a part of many chart-topping hits including B.O.B's "Nothin’ On You," Bruno Mars’ "Just The Way You Are" and "Grenade," Cee-Lo Green's "Forget You," Flo Rida's "Club Can’t Handle Me," Demi Lovato's "Heart Attack," Jason Derulo's "Want to want me" and "Trumpets," Eminem's "Monster," Zedd's "Beautiful Now," Jon Bellion's "All Time Low," Maroon 5's "Memories," Illenium's "Good Things Fall Apart," Halsey's "Graveyard,"Florida Georgia's Line "Simple," Ingrid Andress' "More Hearts Than Mine."
In July 2006, DioGuardi was a judge in an Idol-like TV show called The One: Making a Music Star . The show debuted on ABC with the second-lowest rating ever for a premiere on a major American network and was abruptly canceled after just two weeks.
In 2009, she joined the hit Fox television show American Idol as a fourth judge for the show's eighth season alongside judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul.She returned to Idol for its ninth season alongside Simon, Randy and new judge Ellen DeGeneres who replaced Paula Abdul after she quit the show in contract disagreements. However, she decided to leave the show on September 3, 2010, and did not return for the tenth season of Idol. It has since been stated that DioGuardi helped Steven Tyler become a judge on American Idol, after they worked together at DioGuardi's house in Los Angeles. She has had Idol connections in the past: in 2000, DioGuardi and former Idol judge Paula Abdul co-wrote the UK number-one single "Spinning Around", performed by Kylie Minogue. She has written many songs sung by Idol winners and alumni such as Kelly Clarkson, Allison Iraheta, David Archuleta, Carrie Underwood, Diana DeGarmo, Katharine McPhee, Kris Allen, Danny Gokey, and Adam Lambert. She co-wrote the American Idol season eight coronation single, "No Boundaries", which was performed by both finalists during the competition. DioGuardi struggled to find her place among the judges. In Richard Rushfield's book, "American Idol: The Untold Story," he reveals that often the other judges would leave the studio during commercial breaks, leaving DioGuardi behind to awkwardly sit by herself.
Kara also co-wrote with Jason Reeves a song called "Terrified" for Katharine McPhee's album Unbroken ,which was covered by Didi Benami, an American Idol contestant from Season 9, during Hollywood week. DioGuardi also recorded a video of herself singing "Terrified" with Jason Reeves on YouTube, which currently has over 1,800,000 views. She appeared on Hannah Montana as herself in the episode "Judge Me Tender".
After leaving American Idol, she was a head judge on the Bravo singer-songwriter competition series Platinum Hit as of 2011.
DioGuardi guest starred as herself on The Simpsons and Sesame Street .
From September 5 – October 30, 2011, she made her Broadway debut as Roxie Hart in Chicago .
DioGuardi has also released an autobiography after her departure from "American Idol" named A Helluva High Note; Surviving Life, Love and American Idol.
Since 2012, she has taught a semester course called "Hitmaking with Kara DioGuardi" at Berklee College of Music in Boston. The course was developed specifically for the fall 2012 curriculum and paired 27 student songwriters and producers to mirror today's music industry practices.One of her students was Charlie Puth.
In late 2017, DioGuardi helped launch the first Maine effort of a national program working to prevent child sexual abuse, the Enough Abuse Campaign (EAC).
In 2003, DioGuardi won a BMI Cable Award for co-writing and performing "Somethin' To Say", the theme to the Lifetime Television series For the People, which starred Lea Thompson, Debbi Morgan, A. Martinez and Cecilia Suárez. Kara has been awarded 15 BMI Awards for having co-written the most performed songs on the radio. One of the industry's most highly sought after songwriters and producers, DioGuardi's songs have appeared on records that have sold more than 150 million copies combined. In 2007, DioGuardi was nominated for a Latin Grammy in the category of Song of the Year for her writing on the Belinda single, "Bella Traición" along with co-writers Belinda, Ben Moody, Nacho Peregrin and producer Mitch Allan. In November 2007, Kara was awarded the TAXI A&R award for Humanitarian of the Year at their annual Road Rally Convention.
With MaD DoLL:
With Platinum Weird:
As a featured artist:
DioGuardi splits her time between Los Angeles, California and York Harbor, Maine.She began dating teacher-turned-general contractor Mike McCuddy in 2007 after the two met while he was working on a home adjacent to her property in Maine. Following a year and a half of dating, DioGuardi and McCuddy became engaged in December 2008, and married on July 5, 2009 in Prospect Harbor, Maine. McCuddy has a teenage daughter from a previous relationship. Together, DioGuardi and McCuddy have one son, Greyson James Carroll McCuddy, born via gestational carrier on January 31, 2013. The couple made the decision to use a surrogate after years of infertility and unsuccessful in vitro fertilization attempts.
DioGuardi works with the Phoenix House, a non-profit substance abuse service organization; she contributes to recording studios in the facilities and helps teach the teens how to operate the equipment.In February 2010, she joined former American Idol contestant Elliott Yamin in a charity trip sponsored by ExxonMobil to Angola where they visited malaria prevention and treatment projects as part of Idol Gives Back.
|2006||Rock Legends: Platinum Weird||Herself||Television film|
|2006||The One: Making a Music Star||Herself|
|2009–2010||American Idol||Herself / Judge|
|2009||Hannah Montana||Herself||Episode: "Judge Me Tender"|
|2010||The Simpsons||Herself (voice)||Episode: "Judge Me Tender"|
Kelly Brianne Clarkson is an American singer, songwriter, actress, author, and television personality. She rose to fame for winning the first season of American Idol in 2002, which earned her a record deal with RCA. Her debut single, "A Moment Like This", topped the US Billboard Hot 100 and became the country's best selling single of 2002. It was included on her pop and R&B debut album, Thankful (2003), which debuted atop the Billboard 200. Trying to reinvent her image, Clarkson parted ways with Idol management and shifted to pop rock for her second studio album, Breakaway (2004). Supported by four US top-ten singles: "Breakaway", "Since U Been Gone", "Behind These Hazel Eyes", and "Because of You", Breakaway sold over 12 million copies worldwide and won two Grammy Awards.
Mitchell "Mitch" Allan Scherr, known by his stage name Mitch Allan, is an American record producer, songwriter and musician. He has written and produced songs for artists such as Demi Lovato, Third Eye Blind, Miley Cyrus, Carlie Hanson, Jason Derulo, Pitbull, Fifth Harmony, Kelly Clarkson, Simple Plan, Faith Hill, Selena Gomez, Bowling for Soup, Jonas Brothers, Joe Cocker, selling over 20 million units and garnering multiple hit records, including five top five singles and a worldwide number one single.
Breakaway is the second studio album by American singer Kelly Clarkson, released on November 30, 2004, by RCA Records. The album is a follow-up to her successful debut album, Thankful (2003). Executive produced by Clive Davis, Breakaway sees Clarkson collaborating with various producers and songwriters for the first time, primarily Dr. Luke, Max Martin, John Shanks, Kara DioGuardi, Ben Moody, and David Hodges; the latter two are former members of American rock band Evanescence. Despite the established commercial success of Thankful, music critics still continued to typecast Clarkson as an American Idol winner and were also critical of her attempts of establishing a commercial appeal on her own. Wanting to stray from those, she was convinced by Davis to work with Dr. Luke and Martin in Stockholm, and with Moody and Hodges in Los Angeles, in pursuit of a pop rock direction. This also led her to part ways with her manager Simon Fuller and hire the management services of Jeff Kwatinetz before the album's release. Breakaway is primarily a pop rock record with elements of rock and soul music, marking a departure from the R&B-oriented sound of Thankful; its lyrics explore themes of heartbreak, love, and escapism.
Jennifer Kathleen Hanson is an American country music artist, songwriter and record producer. She made her artist debut in 2002 with the release of her single “Beautiful Goodbye”. The song went on to become a top 20 hit on Billboard's Hot Country Songs reaching #16 in March 2003, the highest-charting debut single by a female country artist for that year. Her self-titled debut album, Jennifer Hanson, was released that same year on Capitol Records to critical acclaim, and in 2003 Hanson was nominated for the Top New Female Vocalist award from the Academy of County Music. She received a nomination that same year for CMT Breakthrough Video of the Year for her video “Beautiful Goodbye”, directed by Trey Fanjoy.
David Hall Hodges is a singer, songwriter, producer, composer, and keyboardist from Little Rock, Arkansas who has sold over 60 million albums. He is well known for having been a member of the band Evanescence, as well as a successful songwriter and producer. He has also been part of the bands Trading Yesterday, The Age of Information, Avox, and Arrows to Athens.
"Walk Away" is a song recorded by American pop singer Kelly Clarkson for her second studio album, Breakaway (2004). It was written and produced by Chantal Kreviazuk, Raine Maida and Kara DioGuardi, with additional writing from Clarkson. The song talks about a relationship that is not working out and she wants a lover who will support her, not disappear when she needs him the most.
"Gone" is a song by American recording artist Kelly Clarkson, from her second studio album, Breakaway (2004). Written by Kara DioGuardi and co-written and produced by John Shanks, "Gone" is a pop song about a woman leaving her lover in search for a better relationship. "Gone" was well received my music critics, though it garnered comparisons with similarly-titled "Since U Been Gone". Two years after Breakaway's release, "Gone" charted in the Billboard Pop 100 chart at number 77. Clarkson has also performed the song in concert tours, primarily during the Breakaway World Tour from 2005–06 and the Stronger Tour in 2012.
Martin Harold "Marti" Frederiksen is an American songwriter, record producer, and musician. He writes and produces music primarily in rock, country, and pop. He is best known for his work with many artists and bands including the Struts, Aerosmith, Gavin Rossdale, Carrie Underwood, Buckcherry, Daughtry, Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe and Faith Hill. He's also well known for performing the lead vocals for the fictitious band Stillwater in the movie Almost Famous.
Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers are New York-based songwriters and record producers who are business partners and friends. They have produced hits for Ruben Studdard, Wild Orchid, Christina Aguilera, Evelyn Champagne King, and Rihanna. They helped build the career of Rihanna, and are the principals of her production company SRP Music Group. As songwriters and record producers, Rogers and Sturken have achieved more than twenty top 40 hits, twelve top 5 hits and six BMI Awards. Their songs have sold more than 60 million albums around the world.
"One Minute" is a song recorded by American recording artist Kelly Clarkson taken from her third studio album, My December (2007). The song served as the album's second single in Australia on September 18, 2007 through 19 Recordings and RCA Records. Clarkson originally wrote it for her second studio album, Breakaway (2004), with songwriters Kara DioGuardi, Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida; however, it did not make the final track listing. It was then reworked for My December, being produced by David Kahne, and co-produced by Jason Halbert and Jimmy Messer. "One Minute" is an alternative rock song with electropop influences, and consists of "rapid-fire give-and-take verses."
"Not Meant to Be" is the fifth overall single by Theory of a Deadman from the album Scars & Souvenirs. It has had airplay in the U.S. and in Canada, on both rock, mainstream, and Hot AC formats. It was featured on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - The Album. There was a tab book made for "Not Meant to Be," which includes piano and guitar chords/tabs and lyrics. It was published by Hal Leonard.
"I Do Not Hook Up" is a song performed by American pop singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson, released as the second single from her fourth studio album, All I Ever Wanted (2009). The song was composed by Greg Wells, Kara DioGuardi and American singer and songwriter Katy Perry. Perry had originally written the song for her own album, but following her removal from the Def Jam label, she gave the song and "Long Shot" to Clarkson for her fourth album. RCA Records serviced the song to mainstream radios in the United States on April 14, 2009. "I Do Not Hook Up" is a dance-rock and power pop song that is structured upon a muscular arrangement with lyrics about empowerment and healthy relationships.
Arthouse Entertainment is a Los Angeles-based music publishing and production company founded by Kara DioGuardi and Stephen Finfer. Arthouse represents a roster of songwriters, producers and artists.
"Mama's Song" is a song recorded by American country music singer Carrie Underwood, co-written by her along with Kara DioGuardi, Marti Frederiksen, and Luke Laird. It was released in November 2010 as the fourth and final single from her third studio album, Play On. These songwriters also wrote her previous single, "Undo It".
Just Like You is the debut album from American Idol's eighth season contestant Allison Iraheta. It was released on December 1, 2009 through Jive Records and 19 Recordings. The lead single, "Friday I'll Be Over U", produced by Max Martin, debuted on AOL's Popeater on October 5, 2009, and was made available through digital distribution on November 3, 2009.
Vered "Didi" Benami is an American singer/songwriter from Knoxville, Tennessee, who was the tenth place finalist on the ninth season of American Idol. Since her appearance on American Idol, Benami has spent the past few years honing her craft, taking classes and writing her first full-length album, Reverie.
"I Never Told You" is a song by the American pop singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat from her second album Breakthrough (2009). The song was released on February 16, 2010 in the United States as the second single. The song is a power ballad in E-flat major and was written by Caillat, Jason Reeves and Kara DioGuardi and produced by DioGuardi. The song talks about the love the singer still has for her lover they felt strongly about at one point in their life. The song received positive reviews from music critics. In the charts, the song has performed moderately well, it has peaked at #48 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the Adult Pop Songs.
John Matthew Shanks is an American songwriter, record producer and guitarist.
Canadian singer-songwriter, producer and pianist Chantal Kreviazuk has written, produced and performed on albums and tracks for a wide range recording artists, spanning from adult contemporary, pop, rock, to indie and hip-hop music. Initially, she began writing her own pop songs, especially after a 1994 motorcycle accident in Italy left her immobile for several months, and was signed by Sony Canada, where she released her debut album in June 1997. Kreviazuk later released another album in 1999, before being featured in a range of soundtracks to films and TV series. Kreviazuk began writing for other artists in 2001, where she co-wrote the song "Always and Forever" for Eleanor McCain. However, it was only in 2004 that Kreviazuk started writing for more artists and received recognition as a songwriter. In the summer of 2003, Kreviazuk met Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne, they formed a relationship of mutual respect and sisterhood, and eventually became songwriting partners. They co-wrote six songs for Lavigne's sophomore album, Under My Skin (2004): "Slipped Away", "Forgotten", "Together", "How Does It Feel", "He Wasn't" and "Who Knows". Kreviazuk described "He Wasn't" as "a super-fun, punk, screw-you-to-boys song," while "Forgotten" is a driving rock song inspired by similarly vibed music Lavigne was consumed with at the time. Also in 2004, Kreviazuk co-wrote "Rich Girl", for Gwen Stefani's solo debut album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby., along with Dr. Dre, Jerry Bock, Mark Batson, Kara DioGuardi, Mike Elizondo, Sheldon Harnick and Eve. The song became a chart success, reaching the top-ten in over fifteen countries. Kreviazuk also wrote for Kelly Clarkson's breakthrough album Breakaway in the end of 2004, sharing writing credits for the tracks "Where Is Your Heart" and "Walk Away". In 2005, Kreviazuk's co-writing song "He Wasn't" was released as Lavigne's final single from Under My Skin, receiving a moderate impact on the charts and reaching only the top-forty in some countries. While in 2006, Clarkson's "Walk Away" was released as Breakaway's final single, reaching the top-twenty in some countries.
"Heartbeat Song" is a song by American singer Kelly Clarkson from her seventh studio album, Piece by Piece (2015). Written by Mitch Allan, Audra Mae, Kara DioGuardi, and Jason Evigan, the song is an uptempo synth-pop track produced by Greg Kurstin. Lyrically, it sings of meeting a person who restores someone's faith in love. Inspired by 1980s synthpop music, "Heartbeat Song" was released by RCA Records as the album's lead single on January 12, 2015.