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Sought-After Songwriter is 'American Idol's' New Judge

  • Ilir Ikonomi

After seven years as America's number one television show, American Idol is making some changes. Grammy-nominated songwriter Kara DioGuardi will join Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul as a fourth judge when the singing competition begins its eighth season in January. VOA's Ilir Ikonomi recently caught up with American Idol's newest judge in New York.

After years of working behind the scenes, Kara DioGuardi is about to become a star.

DioGuardi is one of music's most sought after songwriters and producers. Her songs have appeared on more than 100 million records worldwide.

Now she is poised to become one of television's most recognizable stars as the newest judge on America's number one television program "American Idol."

"Well, I am definitely racking up (earning) the frequent-flier miles because I have been traveling all over the United States," DioGuardi said. "We've been in, everywhere from Puerto Rico to Kansas City and it's been very exciting. It's an incredible job. I'm very blessed to have it. You know, you're joining a team of three judges that have been together for eight years, seven years going on eighth year and they're very close. They have been incredible in their jobs. they have made the show number one between them and the contestants. So, I am hoping that America will accept me and will think that I have something to bring to the table. Because I feel I do."

Those three other judges are Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell.

"Paula was one of my first believers early on my career," DioGuardi siad. "She listened to one CD of mine and said I want to work with this girl. We co-wrote a song called "Spinning Around" which became my number one international song. I knew Randy, I used to see Randy in the halls at the studio, he is an incredible musician. And Simon I knew of, I did not know him. I met him, now I know him. Now I know him well (laughs)."

DioGuardi has penned songs for many of music's biggest stars including Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Santana and Pink.

"Well, I am more at ease working with all the singers that are great singers. That's for sure. I love people who can sing from very low to very high that have unique voices," she said. "Someone like Christina Aguillera is an amazing singer, Celine Dion, in terms of their range. But there are also signers who have an incredible tone that can actually sell a song just as well because they have their own identity. Every singer has different things: some of them (are) very rangy, some of them are that more special unique quality like Britney Spears, when you hear it you go 'Oh I know who that is.' I have been lucky to have worked with some of the best."

Now that she is part of America's most popular TV program, she knows her life is about to change.

I don't know what's going to happen, I don't know if I will be famous, I don't know if people will like me or if they won't like me," she said. "I still have to be me and do what I do, just live every day to the fullest. I am not trying to get too crazy about it. I just want to enjoy the job and do it the best I can.

The eighth season of American Idol kicks off in January on the Fox network.

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