Kara DioGuardi: Wikis


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Kara DioGuardi

Background information
Birth name Kara Elizabeth DioGuardi
Born December 9, 1970 (1970-12-09) (age 39)
Ossining, New York, U.S.
Origin New Rochelle, New York, U.S.
Genres Pop rock, dance, R&B[1]
Occupations Songwriter, record producer, A&R, music publisher, singer, television personality, musical arranger
Instruments Vocals, piano, guitar[2]
Years active 1999–present
Labels Interscope, Rocket (Platinum Weird)
Warner Bros. (A&R)
Associated acts Platinum Weird, MaD DoLL, Ashlee Simpson, Kelly Clarkson, Delta Goodrem, Pink, Celine Dion, The Pussycat Dolls, Paula Abdul, Kris Allen
Website KaraDioGuardi.com

Kara Elizabeth DioGuardi (pronounced /ˈkærə diːɵˈɡwɑrdi/;[3] born December 9, 1970) is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, music publisher, A&R executive, and TV personality. She writes music primarily in the light pop-rock, dance, and R&B genres. DioGuardi has worked with Adam Lambert, Anastacia, Miley Cyrus, Katharine McPhee, Kelly Clarkson, Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Christina Aguilera, Leona Lewis, Santana, Enrique Iglesias, Backstreet Boys, Celine Dion, Nicole Scherzinger, Paula Abdul, Pink, Cobra Starship, Carrie Underwood, Hilary Duff, Ashlee Simpson, Demi Lovato, Faith Hill, Amanda Overmyer, Jason Derülo and many other artists[4] and is credited on over 120 album releases.[5]

She is also a judge on American Idol, having joined the show in its eighth season and is now working with its winner, Kris Allen. DioGuardi currently serves as Executive Vice President of Talent Development, Office of the Chairman for Warner Bros. Records, where she was appointed in 2008 and has signed hit makers Jason Derulo and Iyaz.


Early life

DioGuardi was born in Ossining, New York[6]. She is of Albanian (Arbëresh) [7][8][9] and Italian[10] descent. Her father is former Republican Congressman Joseph J. DioGuardi.[6] She is a distant cousin of the veteran TV personality Regis Philbin.[11] Her mother died in 1997 after a 7-year battle with ovarian cancer.[12]

Kara grew up in the Wilmot Woods section of suburban New Rochelle, New York,[13] and attended kindergarten at the Immaculate Heart of Mary 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.[6] After graduating from college, she worked for Billboard magazine selling advertising,[6] and also at KVII-TV in Amarillo, Texas as the weekend sports anchor.


Professional songwriter

DioGuardi has a songwriting catalog of several hundred songs, of which over 279 have been released on major labels worldwide, and over 169 have appeared on multi-platinum selling albums. She has had nearly 50 international charting singles over the course of her career, and her songs have helped propel 58 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 collaborated with Christina Aguilera on her album Back To Basics in 2006, co-writing 12 of the 13 tracks on disc one of the album, among them being "Ain't No Other Man", and "Back in the Day".

In 2007, DioGuardi worked with many notable artists, one of which was Britney Spears. DioGuardi wrote and produced two songs ("Ooh Ooh Baby" and "Heaven on Earth") on Spears' album Blackout.

In 2008, DioGuardi co-wrote Believe in Me with up-coming Disney star Demi Lovato and wrote The Middle, both featured on Lovato's debut album Don't Forget

Since last season’s American Idol Season 8, Kara returned to songwriting and producing. Her work has paid off as she’s enjoying a host of new hits from a diverse group of artists including Pink’s “Sober,” Kelly Clarkson’s “I Do Not Hook Up,” Cobra Starship ft./ Leighton MeesterGood Girls Go Bad,” Katharine McPhee's " Had It All” and Theory of a Deadman’s “Not Meant to Be” among other new releases.

Among DioGuardi's notable recent projects is the song "Not Meant To Be", which appears on Theory of a Deadman's 2008 album, Scars & Souvenirs.[14] 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.[15]

DioGuardi also wrote and sang the backup vocals for Demi Lovato's song "The Middle" for her first album, Don't Forget and co-wrote "Behind Enemy Lines" with Lovato for the album's re-release. Lovato also confirmed via Twitter that she co-wrote a track with DioGuardi for the soundtrack of Lovato's new movie Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.

In 2009, she co-wrote a song called "Temporary" with Nick Lachey and producer Mitch Allan for Lachey's upcoming CD, Coming Up for Air; the two recorded it as a duet.[16] Kara also co-wrote a song called "What If" with Ashley Tisdale for Guilty Pleasure, Ashley's latest album.

Music publishing

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 Cassie's "Me & U" (written and produced by Ryan Leslie), Jim Jones' "We Fly High" (produced by Zukhan Bey), Nick Lachey's "What's Left of Me", David Archuleta's single "Crush" (written and produced by Eman Kiriakou), Mika's "Grace Kelly", OneRepublic's "Apologize" and "Stop and Stare" (all produced by Greg Wells), Faith Hill's "Lost" (written and produced by Kara DioGuardi and Mitch Allan), "Sober" by P!nk, "Pieces of Me" by Ashlee Simpson, and "He Could Be The One" by Miley Cyrus.

Reality television

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.[17]

She joined the hit Fox television show American Idol as a fourth judge for the show's eighth season,[18] and appeared in the season finale in a bikini to sing alongside contestant Katrina Darrell, better known as "Bikini Girl", who had appeared during the audition rounds.

She has returned to Idol for its ninth season.[19] 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 8 single, No Boundaries, which was performed by both finalists during the competition.

The song "No Boundaries" was dropped from the set list of the American Idol tour.[20] She also co-wrote with Jason Reeves a song called "Terrified" for Katharine McPhee's album Terrified"[21], which was covered by Didi Benami, an American Idol contestant from Season 9, during Hollywood week.[22].

Awards and nominations

In 2003, DioGuardi won a BMI Cable Award for co-writing and performing, Somethin' To Say, the theme to the now-canceled Lifetime Television series For the People, which starred Lea Thompson, Debbi Morgan, A. Martinez and Cecilia Suarez. Kara has been awarded 11 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 100 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.[23]


DioGuardi appeared on an episode of Hannah Montana called "Judge Me Tender".


As a vocalist

With MaD DoLL:

  • Mad Doll[24] (1999)

With Platinum Weird:

Personal life

She is married to teacher-turned-general contractor Mike McCuddy; they wed on July 5, 2009 in Maine.[25] The two met while he was working on a home adjacent to her property in Maine.[26]

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. .[23]

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.


  1. ^ "Kara DioGuardi All Music". All Music.com. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:gcfyxq9gldte. Retrieved 2009 31 07. 
  2. ^ "The Kara DioGuardi Songbook". Sheet Music Plus.com. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/The-Kara-DioGuardi-Songbook/19221612. Retrieved 2009 31 07. 
  3. ^ See inogolo:pronunciation of Kara DioGuardi.
  4. ^ Kara DioGuardi - Related Artists
  5. ^ Kara DioGuardi Album Credits
  6. ^ a b c d Kinon, Christina. "'American Idol' judge Kara DioGuardi stole show - at 12", Daily News (New York), August 27, 2008. Accessed February 11, 2009.
  7. ^ Official DioGuardi family website
  8. ^ Youtube video
  9. ^ Kara DioGuardi: Biography
  10. ^ "Giuliani Gets a New Rival on the Right". New York Times. 1 May 2000. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jrDkst4nSM. 
  11. ^ Kara Dioguardi On Live Regis & Kelly part1
  12. ^ Caramanica, Jon. "Idols, You’ll Have to Pass Through Her", The New York Times, January 9, 2009. Accessed February 11, 2009.
  13. ^ Carlson, Erin (29 August 2008). "Table for four: New Rochelle's Kara DioGuardi joins 'Idol' judges". Associated Press / lohud.com. http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080829/ENTERTAINMENT/808290303/1164/RSS07. 
  14. ^ "Theory Of A Deadman Video Stars kara DioGuardi". Road Runner Records. 2 February 2009. http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/news/THEORY-OF-A-DEADMAN-VIDEO-STARS-KARA-DIOGUARDI-19811.aspx. 
  15. ^ "Behind the Scenes of "Not Meant to Be"". YouTube. 28 March 2009. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSs5j11z1qM. 
  16. ^ Nick Lachey Records Duet With American Idol Judge US Magazine, February 7, 2009
  17. ^ 'One' Miserable Showing: 'Idol' Knockoff Sets a Record, John Maynard, The Washington Post, July 26, 2006
  18. ^ "`AmericanIdol' adds DioGuardi as fourth judge". Associated Press. 29 August 2008. http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iwXD4BoO2HF6nbttn2FU7Cw_ZtowD92PCML81. 
  19. ^ Kara DioGuardi Returning to American Idol
  20. ^ http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/americanidoltracker/2009/07/kris-allens-new-song-is-revealed.html
  21. ^ [1]
  22. ^ [2]
  23. ^ a b Laskow, Michael (February 2008). "A&R Insuder: Kara DioGuardi, Keynote Interview, Part 2, Live on Stage at TAXI's Road Rally 2007". TAXI Transmitter / taxi.com. http://www.taxi.com/transmitter/0802/headlineA0802.html. 
  24. ^ http://www.daz.com/releases/Mad%20Doll/mad%20doll.html
  25. ^ Idol Judge Kara DioGuardi Engaged! People.com, January 13, 2009
  26. ^ Idol Banter, Colin Sargent, Portland Magazine, May, 2009


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