Kara DioGuardi was born on December 9, 1970, in Ossining, New York. Working at Billboard gave DioGuardi an insider's perspective on the music industry. Her first breakthrough hit as a songwriter came with the Kylie Minogue song, "Spinning Around" (2000). The song helped to boost DioGuardi's career, and she quickly became one of the most sought after songwriters in the industry.
Songwriter and musician Kara DioGuardi was born on December 9, 1970, as Kara Elizabeth DioGuardi in Ossining, New York. Mother Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi was co-founder of the Albanian American Civic League and Italian father Joseph J. DioGuardi served as a U.S. congressman for one term in 1985.
DioGuardi grew up in New Rochelle, New York, and attended high school at The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, New York. After graduation, DioGuardi headed to college at Duke University. Kara had a strong interest in music, and enrolled in the school's opera program. Halfway through her bachelor's degree, DioGuardi changed her major to pre-law and began studying to become a trial lawyer. She graduated in 1993 with a major in political science.
Foray into Music Business
Music, however, remained DioGuardi's passion. After graduation, a friend convinced her to take a job as the assistant to the editor-in-chief of Billboard magazine. Working at Billboard gave DioGuardi an insider's perspective on the music industry. In her spare time, she tried breaking in to the music business as a singer and performer.
Success didn't come easy to DioGuardi, whose early solo efforts didn't gain popular appeal. But in 1998, the young music executive made headway when she approached singer and performer Paula Abdul on the street in New York City with a demo of her work. Abdul listened to the tape, and flew DioGuardi out to Los Angeles to work with her.
Success as a Songwriter
Her first breakthrough hit as a songwriter came with the Kylie Minogue song, "Spinning Around" (2000), originally written with Paula Abdul. The song helped to boost DioGuardi's career, and she quickly became one of the most sought after songwriters in the industry.
Since her first song hit the airwaves, DioGuardi has worked on popular hits for a laundry list of talented music stars including Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Ashlee Simpson, the Jonas Brothers, Britney Spears, Faith Hill and Nick Lachey.
DioGuardi appeared as a judge on the reality show The One: Making of a Music Star in 2006, but the show was abruptly canceled. The writer's success, however, never slowed; that same year, DioGuardi started her own company, Arthouse Entertainment. After only three years, the business jumped to the No. 7 spot on Billboard's Top 10 National Music Publishers. The next year, she won the 2007 BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year award and the 2007 Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada Award.
DioGuardi has received 10 Pop Awards from the Broadcast Music Industry, and has been recognized for co-writing the most songs performed on the radio. Her songs have appeared on more than 100 million records. Of those, more than 268 have been released on major labels and 168 have appeared on multi-platinum selling albums. To date, her songs have helped bring 46 albums into the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 list.
Currently, Kara DioGuardi serves as the Vice President of A&R at Warner Brothers Records. In 2009, she was also chosen to become the fourth judge for season eight of the Fox television show, American Idol.
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