Diane Warren A Warren Piece

Cashbox Canada Diane Warren May 16 2014 COVER.png

Submitted by Don Graham

Diane Warren is probably not a household name in most homes, although she admittedly is in mine as I am of the belief that the songwriters are the most import factor in recorded music. You could have the best singer in the world, the finest musicians, engineers and producers on the planet and the technological abilities to record amazing things BUT if you don’t have a song you got nuthin’. And although Diane Warren is not a household name, I doubt there are many households that haven’t heard  at least one of the enormous catalogue of recorded tunes this lady  has created.

Unless you lived in a cave for the last 15 or so years you have heard the classic “How Do I Live” that was a smash hit for Trisha Yearwood and Leanne Rimes with Yearwood’s version being featured in the Nicolas Cage movie Con Air. The song did not appear on the soundtrack album due to contractual complications.

And that’s one of a long list of songs Warren has penned that have become mega hits. “I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing”, a huge hit for Aerosmith and to a lesser extent a country hit for Mark Chestnut, “Un-break My Heart” by Toni Braxton, “Because You Loved Me” a Celine Dion smash that was actually written by Diane to honor the support and commitment her father showed in her formative years as writer.  “ I was a teenager writing songs and Dad was taking me around to publishers. They recognized something in my material and encouraged me to keep writing. There was never any doubt in my mind that I was going to be a songwriter. While others were drawn to the name of the song and the artist on the label, my eyes were drawn to the name or names in the little brackets. I would see Goffin/King or Bacharach/David or Jimmy Webb and think “I want my name to be there one day.” So that was the path, with the help of a supportive father, that the teenage Ms. Warren set out on.  The publishers her Dad took her to saw and heard something in her songs , which when asked how good they were Diane says “terrible”. And she went home and continued working on the craft. About a decade later she was asked to write English lyrics to a French song and the result was ‘Solitaire’, recorded and released by Laura Branigan. Two years later, this was followed by the first recording of a complete Diane Warren song, music and lyrics,  “Rhythm Of The Night” by DeBarge which became a top 10 record and #1 on the adult contemporary charts.

Diane currently works with many of today’s most popular acts, including: Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Mary J. Blige, Akon, Jessie J, Emile Sande, Paloma Faith, Jennifer Hudson, Keyshia Cole, Demi Lovato, Tayor Swift, Miguel, and Jennifer Lopez, among many others. Mike Curb is quoted as calling Diane the "modern day Irving Berlin."

One of the unique aspects, and there are many, of Diane Warren’s career is how she held on to her publishing, giving her more control and financial gain from her work. She has a publishing company called Realsongs that publishes her material. “It was originally going to be called Warren Piece but we changed it to Realsongs.”

In a 2013 list of the Top 100 songs of all time, Diane is the only writer to have two songs in the top 12 with “How Do I Live” ranked #4 and “Unbreak My Heart” ranked at #12.

In 2012, Diane wrote the song “I Was Here” for Beyoncé’s latest record, “4,” which hit #1 on the charts. A video of the song was filmed in the UN General Assembly Hall in New York in front of a live audience. It premiered on World Humanitarian Day as part of the UN’s global campaign to celebrate humanity and the spirit of people helping people. The video reached 1 billion people; Beyoncé and Diane donated the video to the campaign.

Diane has recently written songs for films including “Silver Lining” performed by Jessie J for the critically acclaimed award-winning film Silver Linings Playbook which saw  Diane nominated for a Grammy Award in 2013, “Get Used To Me” performed by Jessica Mauboy for The Sapphires and “Unfinished Songs” for the film Unfinished Song performed by Celine Dion as the movie’s end title. Her song “Heart By Heart” is performed by Demi Lovato in The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones.  She also  wrote the original song “Bleed For Love” for the feature film Winnie Mandela performed by Jennifer Hudson and has currently written a song for Baz Luhrmann’s stage production of “Strictly Ballroom: The Musical” which opened in Australia this spring 2014.
 Diane was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2012 for the song “Born To Be  Somebody” from Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never and “You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me” from Burlesque both in the category of Best Song Written For a Motion Picture.

A lot of writers in her position, with such a great number of hits already recorded, would be comfortable sitting back and reflecting on their accomplishments on their yacht in the south of France. Not Diane.  Her big thrill right now is the latest recording in the U.K. of her song “Only Love Can Hurt Like This” by Paloma Faith. "I love songwriting, it's my passion and I'm obsessed with it. It's never been about the money, although I've made a lot of money doing it, it's what I love to do."

All of Diane Warren’s huge array of successes are well documented but I think some of key elements to her success are a little harder to see but once you see them it all makes perfect sense. First of all she is massively talented and knows it, but knows it is a gift and takes full advantage of her gift.  She works extremely hard at her craft, starting her writing daily around 8:30 am and never loses sight of her goal. Diane Warren is focused and driven,  uncompromising in her writing and business. There is a reason why Realsongs is the most successful female owned business in the music industry. That reason is Diane Warren, pure and simple.

Diane's massive success as a songwriter has offered her the opportunity to support a number of charitable causes. She founded the David S. Warren Weekly Entertainment Series at the Jewish Home for the Aging in memory of her father. She is an honorary committee member of PETA, and is a key donor to many animal rights and rescue groups, including The 10th Life Foundation and the Lange Foundation.

When asked what her best song is she says she hasn’t written it yet.

Diane Warren calls herself “anti-social” but I found her fascinating to talk to, a great conversationalist and a humble yet confident creative artist who knows what she wants and how to get it.

Thanks Diane, for the songs and your time and I can’t wait to hear the songs you create in the NEXT ten years.

For more visit www.dianewarren.com