Kara DioGuardi

Herb Alpert Visiting Scholar

Sharing her expertise with Berklee students is a way of giving back to the music community for songwriter, music executive, and publisher Kara DioGuardi. Grammy nominated for work with such artists as Pink, Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, and Santana, DioGuardi is a Warner Brothers Records executive and has her own boutique music publishing company, Arthouse Entertainment. Yet each fall as the Herb Alpert visiting scholar as well as for summer workshops, she shares career advice and wisdom with students in songwriting courses. 

DioGuardi was born in Ossining, New York,  in 1970 and grew up in New Rochelle before earning a degree in political science at Duke University and later working for Billboard magazine. With more than 300 songs released on major labels, she has written, collaborated on, and produced such hits as Kelly Clarkson’s “Walk Away,” Aguilera’s “Ain’t Meant to Be,” Meat Loaf’s “If I Can’t Have You,” and many others. Her publishing company has released hits by Bruno Mars, Eminem, Rihanna, Clarkson, and Demi Lovato. After serving as a judge on seasons eight and nine of American Idol, she wrote A Helluva High Note: Surviving Life, Love, and American Idol in 2011. She also appeared on Broadway, playing Roxie Hart in Chicago. Among many awards, DioGuardi has won the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Music for Life Award, BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year Award, and the National Music Publishers Association Songwriter Icon award.

DioGuardi partnered with the Phoenix House, a national drug rehabilitation center, to create recording studios in five of their facilities to allow residents an emotional safe haven to help them in their recovery. She also works closely with the Columbus Citizens Foundation and has funded a scholarship in her family’s name to help financially challenged students of Italian descent attend college.

As an artist and a music executive, DioGuardi has had great success. As an educator, she is dedicated to helping future musicians realize their dreams.

DioGuardi offers a songwriting clinic at the Berklee Performance Center: