Kara DioGuardi has been ruling the Billboard charts for years as the woman behind the music. Having penned hits for Pink, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera to name a few, Kara is one of the most in-demand songwriters in the business today. Thrown into the spotlight as a judge on American Idol, the world met Kara without realizing she had already been in their homes, on their iPods and through their radios for years. Still, despite DioGuardi’s significant contribution to pop, her life story has remained a mystery – until now. For the first time ever on television, in an intimate and personal interview, DioGuardi opens up to E! about her long journey towards success. Helping to tell her story are her husband, Mike McCuddy, her brother, John, her closest friends, professional colleagues including music industry legend Tommy Mottola, American Idol Executive Producer Ken Warwick and some of the artists for whom she has written hit songs including Kelly Clarkson, Jason DeRulo, Dave Stewart and Colbie Caillat.
Keep reading for highlights from the all-new THS which includes comments on celebrity friendships, eating disorders, frightening childhood memories, and life-changing decisions. The E! True Hollywood Story: Kara DioGuardi premieres tonight, October 26 at 10:00 PM on E!
On Getting the Call for American Idol — Kara says, “I went on an interview with the producers and I walked in there thinking like this is a joke because they’re never going to hire me to do this. I must have done something right because the next thing I knew I was on a plane to meet Simon Cowell in England.”
On Her Relationship with Simon — Ken Warwick, Executive Producer of American Idol states, “You know with Simon, one day he’d love her the next day he’d hate her. So it was kind of a roller coaster ride. But that always added to the chemistry of it.”
On Her Friendship with Paula Abdul — “It was the kind of friendship that comes on really quickly. She was getting divorced, she was trying to find her groove, come out of this kind of dark place in her life. I was also reeling from losing my mother; we were both kind of trying be almost re-birthed when we met each other. She invited me to LA to write on the album and stay at her house and I remember walking in there and being like ‘oh my God, this is where a celebrity lives.’”
On Being Molested By A Family Friend As a Child — “We would play hide and seek and one day it got like into a whole other area. And I went to my mother and told her and at that time there weren’t any Oprah’s…people didn’t really discuss rape or molestation…it was kind of swept under the carpet.”
On Her Unusual Diet and Stress Eating — “So I got into this pattern of eating and what happened was I was so hungry for 6 days that by the 7th day I was like (makes scarfing sounds) I mean whatever it was I was eating – you know, cupcakes, fudge brownies. I mean I could not wait for Sunday to come. And I would put so much sugar in my system that on Monday it was like I couldn’t go back to that dieting, I needed more and more sugar and pretty soon the binging got out of control.”
On Learning About Her Mother’s Cancer While At Duke University — “My mom called and she said they found cancer. And there was this strange juxtaposition of hearing all this screaming on the quad outside at the college; just people yelling and life and happy and knowing that my mom was probably gonna die.”
On How DioGuardi Was First Discovered — Larry Flick, Former Dance Music Editor of Billboard states, “One of the first meetings I set up for Kara was with a guy at BMG music…he looked at her and said ‘do you want to be a pop star?’ And she kind of nervously giggled and said ‘yeah.’ And he took her apart piece by piece and said ‘well, you know, your hair’s too dark, and what’s up with that nose?’ and it was demoralizing and shattering but he introduced her to a lot of folks.”
The episode premieres tonight, October 26 at 10:00 PM on E! with an early airing at 7:00 pm as well.