A Songwriting Wunderkind

Diane Warren

A prolific songwriter with six Oscar nominations, a Golden Globe, and Songwriter of the Year awards, Diane Warren has created a foundation that supports music programs in financially challenged schools.

Many young people feel the same way that Diane Warren did as a girl—misunderstood and somehow different from everyone around her. Growing up in California, she wanted to rebel against her parents and everything else in her world. She ran away from home as a teenager, and only came back because she missed her cat!

The truth was that Diane was different. She had a strong creative spark, and a great way with words. And she found comfort in writing songs that expressed her feelings.

While her mother thought Diane was a dreamer who should focus on getting a job as a secretary, her father encouraged her hopes of becoming a songwriter. With that encouragement and a strong will to follow her own direction in life, Diane began the tough task of trying to sell her songs.

Her determination and talent paid off with her first hit song in the 1980s—“Solitaire,” performed by Laura Branigan. Other hits quickly followed—pop hits, rock hits, country hits—performed by some of the biggest names in music, including Celine Dion, Trisha Yearwood, Toni Braxton, and LeAnn Rimes.

Warren’s career soared to new heights when her songs began to appear in hit films, resulting in six Oscar nominations and a Golden Globe award for “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” performed by Cher in the movie Burlesque. She now has a star on the celebrated Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been named Songwriter of the Year six times, among a host of other honors and awards.

But Diane Warren did not forget what it felt like to be that lonely girl with a love for music. She has used her fame and fortune to start a foundation that supports music programs in financially challenged schools, and she helps sponsor contests for emerging songwriters.

Recalling how her father was the one person to encourage her love of music, she wrote the hit song “Because You Loved Me” as a tribute to his support.

In 1993, the struggling Montreal Canadiens adopted one of Diane Warren’s songs, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” as their unofficial anthem, and went on to win the Stanley Cup that year. Just like Warren herself, they demonstrated the power of determination and self-belief.

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This is an excerpt from the book Inspiration to Live Your MAGIC!™, 75 Inspiring Biographies by Larry Anderson. It is available as a print book from Amazon.com and as a Kindle e-book.

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