Kara DioGuardi Appreciation Post

This past week I was at my local library and came across songwriter Kara DioGuardi‘s autobiography, A Helluva High Note: Surviving Life, Love, and American Idol. I took it home and dived into it immediately. Once I got to the second or third page I felt like I knew her for years. It was like she ripped pages out of my diary from high school and wrote a book about it. Ok so I had a Xanga back then….sue me.

I remember the first song I remember hearing that Kara wrote. It was “Come Clean” by Hilary Duff from her 2003 debut album, Metamorphosis. After that, I saw her name in practically every album booklet. (I’m a liner notes nerd..) I remember wondering who she was and how on Earth did she get such an incredible job?! I’m not giving anything away since I urge you all to go read her book, but let’s just say that all good things come to those who hustle…in the most respectable way. Pay those dues!

Kara DioGuardi has written with the best of the best from Katy Perry, Ashlee Simpson, P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion, Gwen Stefani, Ashley Tisdale, Miley Cyrus, Hilary Duff, Demi Lovato, Carrie Underwood, Jewel and more. This woman’s a hitmaker, but don’t get it twisted: she doesn’t just write songs for them to be a hit. She writes from the heart. Chances are, you might know her a little bit more than you think. She’s used her past experiences to fuel her songwriting with hits like “Sober” by P!nk and “Taking Chances” by Celine Dion.

Here are some quotes that really stood out to me. I hope they inspire you to go after what you want as they did me.

“May you find your passion in life and make it your purpose. May you find the resolve to face your deepest fears and overcome them, and lastly may you have the courage to follow your dreams so that you will never know regret….”

“When someone tells you that you don’t blend in, rush toward them and give them a great big hug, as they have just paid you the highest compliment you will ever receive. The goal in life is to stand out, not blend in. And if I could speak to my fifteen-year-old self with the wisdom I posess now, I’d have it out with her for ever having gotten so upset over a comment like that.”

“I vowed NEVER to be so programmed by my goals that I lost my soul.”

“Direction without heart means nothing. Success is not only about money and status but about being the best person you can be in all areas of your life.”

“Music helps us find our truth and discover ourselves. If you are not musically inclined, a journal can work in a similar way. Pour your heart out and don’t edit what you write. Read it back and get to know yourself, your true uncensored self. I like telling artists to write down words that really communicate who they are. Artists need to stand for something that distinguishes them from everyone else. But artists are not the only people you can benefit from this type of self-examination. Everyone can, and the key to success is knowing yourself well enough to tell the difference between what gets your soul off and what kills it. STAY AWAY FROM WHAT KILLS IT!”

“Always lead with your talent and eventually people will see that they gain infinitely more from that than whatever else they may have had in mind.”

In A Helluva High Note, Kara proves to us that there is a bright light at the end of every dark and scary tunnel. Just keep on walking, no matter how bad it may be and you will overcome anything.

So here’s to you Kara, for being such a warrior and a positive role model for young women. ♥

Have you read Kara’s book? What is your favorite song that she’s written?

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