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.

The Power of Hope

This is a excerpt from my forthcoming book, Inspiration to Live Your MAGIC!™ to be published in January 2012. A collection of 75 biographical introductions that inspire.

Anne Frank

Author of a diary that chronicled the fate of a Jewish family in Nazi Germany, teenager Anne Frank died in a concentration camp; but, decades later, her diary was published in more than sixty languages.

Being a Jew in Nazi Germany was a horrific fate. Adolf Hitler and the Nazis took away the Jews’ jobs, property, and rights, then began sending them to concentration camps where they worked under horrible conditions and were beaten, starved, and often killed en masse in gas ovens.

Anne Frank was just four years old when the Nazis came to power, and her family wisely fled from Germany to Holland. But the Germans soon invaded Holland and began rounding up all Jews to be sent to the death camps.

Her father took thirteen-year-old Anne and her mother and sister into hiding. He had a secret apartment built in his office building, and some of his employees bravely brought them food and supplies. Anne and her family hid in the cramped quarters for two years, living in constant fear of being discovered.

Anne, who had been a very good student, began to keep a journal to help pass the long days. She wrote about her family members’ daily lives, about the terrible fate of their friends and others at the hands of the Nazis, and about her dreams of freedom. She still had the courage to hope.

Their secret hiding place was so well constructed that they might have stayed hidden for the entire war, but someone betrayed them and told the Nazis.

Anne’s father was sent to one death camp; the two girls and their mother were sent to another. Anne’s mother gave all her food to her two daughters to help keep them alive. , and starved to death; the two girls, working like slaves, sick, and existing on tiny amounts of rotten food, also died a few months later.

The only survivor was Anne’s father. After the war, he went back to Holland and found the loyal workers who had hidden his family. They had saved Anne’s diary, hoping to return it to her.

When Anne’s father saw how well written his daughter’s journal was, and the powerful tale it told of suffering under the Nazis, he determined to have it published. The Diary of Anne Frank is considered one of the most important books of the twentieth century.

Today, Anne’s diary is often studied in schools to demonstrate the terrible human cost of bigotry and hatred—as well as the power of hope.

Want to know more? Anne Frank

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© Copyright 2011, LIAP Media Corp.

LIAP Media Corp. the publisher of the Live Your MAGIC!™ series of books is a social enterprise. Part of the Larry & Janet Anderson Philanthropies.

All author Royalties and publishing profits are donated to our charity, education and arts partners.


Free The Children Founder

This is a excerpt from my forthcoming book Inspiration to Live Your MAGIC!™ to be published in January 2012. A collection of 75 biographical introductions that inspire.

 

Craig Keilburger

Creator of Free The Children, an organization whose purpose is to free child slaves all over the world and provide them with an education, Craig Kielburger was a child himself when his passion to help children began.

One morning in 1995, twelve-year-old Craig Kielburger was flipping through a newspaper, looking for the comics, and he happened to see a headline about the murder of a boy named Iqbal who was about Craig’s own age.

Craig read about how Iqbal had been sold into slavery in South Asia at the age of four and spent six years chained to a carpet-making machine, working day and night. Iqbal had escaped, told his story to the world, and started fighting against child slavery.

Now, the story said, Iqbal had been killed to stop his campaign for freedom.

That terrible story touched something in Craig, and he determined to pick up Iqbal’s cause and work to free children from slavery, poverty, and ignorance. It was a big ambition for a twelve-year-old, but Craig says Iqbal’s story proved that the bravest voice could live in the smallest body.

So, Craig cut the article out of the paper, took it to his school in Thornhill, Ontario, and asked his classmates if they wanted to help. Eleven other kids put their hands up . . . and that was the start of the group Craig called “Free The Children.”

Together, they set out to raise funds, tell people about the plight of child slaves worldwide, and—above all—to help those children get the freedom and education they needed.

Craig’s friends told other friends, parents, teachers . . . the word spread quickly and Free The Children grew by leaps and bounds. Soon, they were working with other groups in third world countries, getting support from companies and associations, and creating their own education and development programs.

Today, Free The Children is the world’s largest network of children helping children through education. There are more than one million youth involved in forty-five countries worldwide. They build schools, provide clean water and health care, and fight against the abuse and neglect of children . . . everything to make life better for other children and youth.

Craig Kielburger is now a grown man, but continues to dedicate his entire life to the cause he started when he was twelve. He flies all over the world, giving speeches and working with various groups that share his passion for justice. Here at home, he helps organize and support student leaders and others who want to change the world for the better.

And it all happened because Kielburger saw something disturbing in the newspaper, and refused to just turn the page.

Want to know more? Free The Children

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© Copyright 2011, LIAP Media Corp.

LIAP Media Corp. the publisher of the Live Your MAGIC!™ series of books is a social enterprise. Part of the Larry & Janet Anderson Philanthropies

All author Royalties and publishing profits are donated to our charity, education and arts partners.


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