"My magic hour is the morning," eleven-time Oscar nominated songwriter and juvenile delinquent from Van Nuys Diane Warren told THR. "All I cared about was writing songs. There was no Plan B for me."
Watch THR's inspiring profile on Diane:
Diane Warren On Why 12th Time Is A Charm For Her At Oscars With ‘Life Ahead’ Laura Pausini Song “Io Si (Seen)”
As Oscar season slowly begins to bloom, some things remain — like an early potential Best Original Song contender from 11-time nominee Diane Warren: “Free,” performed by Charlie Puth over the end credits of Disney’s new movie, “The One and Only Ivan.”
____________________ Grammy Award Incoming! Ally Brooke Taps Songwriter Diane Warren For New Music Ally is hard at work on her debut solo album. She semi-recently released a handful of singles sans her Fifth Harmony fam, and they performed decently. It’ll be interesting to see how things take shape once the singer’s new album is out.
About Diane Warren
Diane Warren is one of the most continuously prolific and successful contemporary songwriters of our time. A quick glance at her list of Top 10 Hits reveals a range of musical genres and styles so diverse it's difficult to believe all these songs could have come from the same person; yet, they did. Three decades after she kicked off her career, Diane continues to endlessly pour forth songs that keep climbing to the top of the charts. Diane’s songs have had over 100 top ten hits, are featured in more than 100 motion pictures and have earned her 2 Golden Globe Awards, an Emmy win, as well as 12 Academy Award nominations, and 15 GRAMMY award nominations.
Diane's songwriting talent began to develop when she was a youngster growing up in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley. "I grew up on Top 40 radio; it's what I was exposed to and what attracted me," she recalls. "I loved listening to my older sisters' records, people like Buddy Holly and the Beatles. But, believe it or not, I was more fascinated by the songwriters: Carole King, Leiber and Stoller, Burt Bacharach. Those were my idols.”
Her parents, however, were divided over her career choice. Diane's mother voiced clear opposition, pointing out the tremendous odds against her in such a competitive field, while her father recognized her potential and offered constant encouragement and support. He bought Diane her first guitar when she was only ten years old. By her early teens, he was taking her to meetings with Los Angeles music publishers. But, it would be a while before the rest of the world would hear Diane's music.
A decade or so later, Warren's talent and persistence finally paid off. In 1983, she began working as a staff writer for Jack White, a producer with singer Laura Branigan. White asked Warren to prepare English lyrics for a French song. Twenty-four hours later, she turned in "Solitaire," which became a Top 10 Hit for Branigan in 1983. Two years later, Warren penned "Rhythm of the Night" for DeBarge, which hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart.
Diane currently works with many of today’s most popular acts in music, including: Justin Bieber, Christina Aguilera, Snoop Dogg, Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Mary J. Blige, Jessie J, Paloma Faith, Jennifer Hudson, Andra Day, Keyshia Cole, Demi Lovato, LeAnn Rimes, Common and Jason Derulo among many others.
Warren most recently received her twelth Oscar nomination for the original song “Io Sì (Seen)" with music and lyrics by Warren for the film "The Life Ahead" which was released on Netflix in 2020. The song is performed by Laura Pausini and the movie stars Sophia Loren in her Hollywood swansong.
Warren wrote the original song “I’ll Fight” for RBG, a documentary about the life and legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg co-produced by Storyville Films and CNN Films which will open in theatres in May 2018. The song is performed by Jennifer Hudson.
Warren also wrote the original song “Prayers for this World” performed by Cher for the documentary CRIES FROM SYRIA directed by Evgeny Afineevsky. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017 and debuted on HBO on March 13, 2017.
Warren wrote the song “This Is For My Girls,” released in 2016, which features vocal performances from Kelly Clarkson, Chloe & Halle, Missy Elliott, Jadagrace, Lea Michele, Janelle Monáe, Kelly Rowland and Zendaya. Sales from the single benefit charities supporting young women's education globally, including First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn initiative. The song was performed by Michelle Obama and Missy Elliott on The Late Late Show with James Corden’s popular “Carpool Karaoke” segment which has garnered over 61 million views.
She also wrote a new theme song for ABC’s THE VIEW called “World’s Gone Crazy” performed by Mary J. Blige which premiered on the show in September 2016.
Her original song “Til It Happens To You” performed by Lady Gaga is featured in the Radius and CNN Film acclaimed documentary THE HUNTING GROUND from filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, for which she received her eighth Oscar nomination. In 2016, Warren received her first Emmy nomination for “Til It Happens To You,” as well as her first Emmy win for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics, and the song received a 2016 Grammy nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media. This makes it the first song in history to be nominated for an Academy Award, Grammy and an Emmy. It was also nominated for a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Song and won the Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Song – Documentary.
In 2011, Warren wrote the song “I Was Here” for Beyoncé’s record, “4,” which hit number one on the Billboard charts. A video of the song was filmed in the UN General Assembly Hall in New York in front of a live audience. The video premiered on World Humanitarian Day in August of 2012 as part on the UN’s global campaign to celebrate humanity and the spirit of people helping people and has reached 1 billion people. Beyoncé and Diane donated the video to the campaign.
Diane received her first Oscar nomination in 1987 for the song, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now," for the film MANNEQUIN and also received a Golden Globe and GRAMMY nomination as well. For the song, "Because You Loved Me," sung by Celine Dion in the film UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL (1996), Diane received a GRAMMY award, as well as her second Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe Award. Diane was also nominated for her third Oscar and GRAMMY for the original song “How Do I Live” from the hit film CON AIR (1997). She received a fourth Oscar nomination and a GRAMMY nomination for her song “I Don’t’ Want To Miss A Thing” from the blockbuster film ARMAGEDDON. Her song, "Music Of My Heart," sung by *NSYNC and Gloria Estefan for the film MUSIC OF THE HEART (1999), was her fifth Oscar nomination and earned a GRAMMY nomination. The song also won the Critics' Choice Award for Best Song from a Motion Picture. Diane received her sixth Oscar nomination for the original song “There’ll You’ll Be” from PEARL HARBOR. She also was a Grammy and Golden Globe nominee for the song as well. Warren wrote the original song “Grateful” performed by Rita Ora for BEYOND THE LIGHTS, for which she received her seventh Oscar nomination in 2015.
Diane was nominated for two Grammy Awards for the song “Born To Be Somebody” from Justin Bieber’s movie NEVER SAY NEVER and “You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me” performed by Cher from BURLESQUE both in the category of Best Song Written For a Motion Picture. She won the Golden Globe for her song in BURLESQUE and received a Critic’s Choice Movie Awards nomination for the song.
Diane also wrote the original song “The Crazy Ones” performed by Paloma Faith and “What We Leave Behind” with Labrinth for the film MISS YOU ALREADY starring Drew Barrymore and directed by Catherine Hardwicke.
Diane has also written songs for multiple films including “Silver Lining” performed by Jessie J for the critically acclaimed award-winning film SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK for which Diane was nominated for a Grammy Award, “Get Used To Me” performed by Jessica Mauboy for THE SAPPHIRES and “Unfinished Songs” for the film UNFINISHED SONG performed by Celine Dion. Demi Lovato in THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS performed her song “Heart By Heart”: CITY OF BONES. She also wrote “You Got Me” performed by Gavin DeGraw in DOLPHIN TALE 2.
Warren wrote the original song “You Will” for Oprah Winfrey, which serves as the anthem for the OWN network. Jennifer Hudson and Jennifer Nettles perform the song.
She joined singer Fergie for AVON VOICES, the first-ever global online singing and songwriting competition.
Warren says the key to her songwriting is tapping into a universal connection. "I just love writing a great ballad, something so essential that it reaches across genres. You could almost say the best songs are 'genre-transcendent' - they translate well into a variety of styles sung by different artists." Artists around the world record Warren's songs, and she has had simultaneous hits in virtually every market. Warner Brothers released a compilation of Warren's hits, called "Love Songs." This CD generated #1 songs in most countries in Asia, and charted in the Top 5 in Japan.
Indeed, Warren's songs have transcended genre. Her #1 Adult Contemporary Hit, "If You Asked Me To," has been recorded not only by Celine Dion, but also by R&B diva, Patti LaBelle. Eight different artists, ranging from Tina Turner to Ace of Base, have recorded her song, “Don’t Turn Around.” Additionally, Diane's song, "How Do I Live," recorded by both Trisha Yearwood and LeAnn Rimes, was not only a #1 Hit that won Yearwood the Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance and an Oscar nomination, but also carries the distinction of being the longest-running song in the history of Billboard's Hot 100 Chart and Billboard's Country Singles Sales Chart.
Her #1 Pop Hit, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," performed by Aerosmith for the movie ARMAGEDDON, not only received an Oscar nomination, but simultaneously hit #1 on the Country Charts with a version sung by Mark Chesnutt. Diane also had a #1 International Hit in 19 countries with "Can't Fight the Moonlight," performed by LeAnn Rimes and featured in the film COYOTE UGLY. The song was re-released and more than a year later became a Top 10 Pop Hit.
In 2013, Billboard Magazine published their list of the Top 100 songs all time to celebrate the 55th Anniversary of the Hot 100 chart. 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.
During her impressive career, Warren has written for iconic artists such as: Whitney Houston, Cher, Aerosmith, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, just to name a few.
Diane is the recipient of The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard’s inaugural Film & TV Music Career Achievement Award that was presented in November 2008. She has been named ASCAP's Songwriter of the Year six times (five times for Pop and one time for Country) and Billboard's Songwriter of the Year four times (one time as Hot Country Songwriter, two times as Hot Singles Songwriter, and 1 time as the #1 Songwriter for Pop and R&B). Diane also received a coveted star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has won the coveted Ivor Novello International Award, once again marking her place among the greatest songwriters of our time.
In 2008, she wrote an anthem for peace for a concert in Israel performed at the Tel Aviv Opera House in honor of The Peres Center for Peace. This event brought together over 1000 dignitaries from the international scene. In unison, Arab and Israeli children sang Diane’s song of peace to an audience that included Nobel Prize laureates, statespersons, cultural celebrities from the arts and sports as well as international diplomats.
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 the Humane Society, and is a key donor to many animal rights and rescue groups.
In 2016, The Humane Society of the United States honored Diane as their Humanitarian of the Year, she was presented with the Song Over Violence Award for her anthem “Til It Happens to You” from the documentary film THE HUNTING GROUND at the 45th Annual Peace Over Violence Humanitarian Awards, Girls Inc. recognized Diane for her commitment to empowering women and girls, the Los Angeles Press Club presented her with the Visionary Award for her humanitarian work at their National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards Gala, and she was inducted by the Society of Composers & Lyricists as an SCL Ambassador. In 2017 Warren was presented with the ASCAP Founders Award.
Music mogul, Clive Davis, testifies to her integrity and prolific versatility. Davis, who has relied on Warren for artists such as Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston, and Kelly Clarkson, says, "Diane is able to combine tremendous feel for melody with lyrics that deal with genuine emotions, and she is able to do it time after time."
Record producer David Foster, who frequently produces with Warren, points out that it is her tenacity and focus that explain her unprecedented success. "Without a doubt, she's the hardest-working songwriter I've ever known... She just sits there, day after day," he notes, adding, "She's truly an island, and somehow she taps into the masses. The fact that she can do it by herself is extra special. She doesn't seem to need to rely on anybody else."
Film and TV producer, Jerry Bruckheimer says, "She will move with whatever happens in the music world. I think she is on the top of her game. She listens to every song that's out there. Where she goes, the public goes."
Perhaps the key to understanding Diane -- the woman and the phenomenal success of her music -- are one and the same: no compromise.
Taking charge of her own creative career, Warren owns her publishing company, Realsongs, the most successful female-owned and operated business in the music industry.