Diane Warren is considered to be the most prolific and successful contemporary songwriter of our time. A quick glance at her list of Top Ten hits reveals a range of musical genres and styles so diverse it’s difficult to believe the songs could have come from the same person.
Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, Diane was exposed to Top 40 radio and her talent began to develop. She loved listening to her older sisters' records, people like Buddy Holly and the Beatles, but she was more fascinated by the songwriters: Carole King, Lieber and Stoller and Burt Bacharach.
Despite her parents divided thoughts on her career choice, Warren's talent and persistence finally paid off. In 1983 she had begun 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. 24 hours later, she turned in "Solitaire," which became a Top 10 hit for Branigan in 1983. Three years later, Warren penned "Rhythm of the Night" for DeBarge, which hit number three on the pop charts and number one on the Adult Contemporary chart. To date she has had over 80 songs charted in the top 10.
Diane Warren has written for such legends of song as Elton John, Tina Turner, Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack and Roy Orbison. Recently, artists such as Patti LaBelle, 'N Sync, Gloria Estefan, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Reba McEntire, Whitney Houston, Enrique Iglesias, Aerosmith, Ricky Martin, Faith Hill, Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige and LeAnn Rimes have graced the charts with her songs. Warren herself agrees that she has tapped this universality of message in her songwriting.
Indeed, Warren's songs have transcended genre. Her number one Adult Contemporary hit "If You Asked Me To" has been recorded not only by Celine Dion, but also by R&B diva Patti LaBelle. Her song "Don't Turn Around" has been recorded by eight different artists - from Tina Turner to Aswad to Ace of Base. Her number one pop hit "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" performed by Aerosmith for the movie Armageddon not only received an Oscar nomination, but simultaneously hit number one on the country charts with a version by Mark Chestnut. Additionally, Diane's song, “How Do I Live”, recorded by both Trisha Yearwood and Le Ann Rimes, was not only a number one hit that won Yearwood the Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance, but also carries the disctinction of being the longest running song in the history of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
Diane’s songs are featured in more than 60 films. She had a number one hit with “Can’t Fight the Moonlight”, performed by Le Ann Rimes and featured in the film Coyote Ugly. Diane contiues to diversify. She recently joined forces with rock band The Cult, who recorded “Painted On My Heart” for the film Gone In Sixty Seconds. Bounce, starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck, featured “Need To Be Next To You” performed by Leigh Nash of Sixpence None the Richer. The Family Man, showcased “I Don’t Know How I Got By”, performed by Edwin McCain. With an uncanny ability to create the perfect songs for any scene, it’s no wonder that Warren continues to receive accolades. As of 2002, Her songs have been nominated for 3 Golden Globes, 5 Academy Awards and 8 Grammys.
Warren’s massive success as a songwriter has offered her the opportunity to support a number of charitable causes. She is a Buddy For Life at AIDS Project Los Angeles and an honorary committee member of PETA. She has been a key donor to the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance and has founded the David S. Warren Weekly Entertainment Series at the Jewish Home for the Aging, a program she established in memory of her father. Because of her success, SCAP and VH1 joined forces as part of VH1’s Save the Music campaign to launch the Diane Warren “Music of My Heart”/ASCAP Foundation Music Education Project in 2002. The project was implemented by the ASCAP Foundation and funded by The Diane Warren Foundation and provided folios, sheet music, band arrangements and “method books” to more than 1,000 middle schools across the country.
Warren has been named the ASCAP Songwriter of the Year six times and Billboard’s Songwriter of the Year 4 times. Her publishing company Realsongs, was named one of the top 5 music publishing corporations and is the most successful female-owned and operated business in the music industry. In 2001, Warren also received further recognition with a coveted star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.