Kara DioGuardi Shakes Up 'American Idol':
Even though Kara DioGuardi has written some of pop's biggest hits, most of us hadn't heard of the successful songwriter until she was added to the American Idol
judges panel just in time for season eight. But how much do we already know about the talented New Yorker who is shaking up TV's hottest talent competition?
The Politician's Daughter:
Kara Elizabeth DioGuardi was born in Scarsdale, NY on December 9, 1970. She is the daughter of former New York Congressman Joseph DioGuardi. As a child growing up in the town of New Rochelle, NY, Kara attended a conservative private school and dreamed of becoming a singer.
From Singer to Songwriter:
Kara attended Duke University after graduating from high school, but the ambitious college student also had music on her mind. She attempted to launch her singing career after college and even landed a record deal. When Kara's career as a singer didn't work out, she changed her focus to songwriting.
The Paula Abdul Connection:
As a new songwriter on the scene, Kara was introduced to future Idol
judge Paula Abdul
. They two singers/songwriters hit it off right away and Kara even moved in with Paula for a short time. The song-writing roommates cowrote Kylie Minogue's "Spinning Around" together.
Kara, The Hitmaker:
Kara's songwriting career has been an impressive one. Her music has been recorded by singers including Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, Faith Hill, and Carrie Underwood. Her hit songs include Ashlee Simpson's "Pieces of Me," Enrique Iglesias's "Escape," and Christina Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man."