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Issue 2000 >> April 16th, 2013 >> $4.99 rollingstone.com

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Diane Warren Songwriter Extraordinaire


She’s Still Got It Rolling Stone gets personal with a songwriting legend

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QA

2011 Warren wins Best Composer at Palm Springs International Film Festival

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On her success, charity work, and past, present, and future By Nicola Wood

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t has been a busy decade for Diane Warren, between songwriting, nominations, and award shows, but sitting here in a quiet Los Angeles coffee shop, you would never know it. Warren is cool, collected, and eager to discuss her background and upcoming projects. Over steaming cups of coffee (Warren prefers hers black) we chitchat about the music industry as a whole, and exactly how Warren climbed the ladder to success right here in Los Angeles. A California native, Warren has dedicated her entire life solely to music, and her dedication shows through her unending list of accomplishments.

Diane Warren RS: I just want to start off by saying, Ms. Warren, what an honor it is to be sitting here with you! I never thought I’d be sitting across the table drinking coffee with such an influential songwriter. DW: [laughs] The pleasure is all mine! Rolling Stone is one of my favorite publications; this is my first time interviewing with you all, so it’s exciting. RS: So, I’d love to hear a little bit of background on

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you, where are you from, how did you grow up, what got you into the music industry? DW: Well, I’m from here in California. I love it here too much to ever leave. I grew up in San Fernando Valley, and listened to a lot of my older sisters’ records. I loved the singers, don’t get me wrong, but the songwriters behind the songs were who really inspired me. I played guitar a lot as a kid, and I was just always very musically


inclined. My mother tried to bring me back down to Earth, but I was very rebellious. I ran away once. But through it all, my dad was the one that pushed me to follow my dreams. Eventually I started working as an assistant for an extremely talented producer named Jack White back in the 80’s. I wrote my first Top 10 single for him called “Solitaire” in 24 hours, and I guess the rest is history. RS: That must have been an amazing experience. DW: Oh, for sure. Here I was, still in my twenties, doing what I had always dreamed of doing. It was definitely a privilege. I really thought that I had made it big. RS: And that was just the beginning of your career! I know you have worked with dozens of music icons, what has that experience been like? DW: Yes, I’ve worked with artists from Celine Dion and Elton John to Tina Turner and Patti Labelle. Lately I’ve been working with a lot of the pop icons that the younger generation is into, like Justin Beiber, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige...I’m sure I’ll continue working with up

and coming pop stars in the future. It’s always wonderful to see your songs being performed by someone who is really passionate about the things they do. Almost every artist I’ve worked with has really taken my songs above and beyond what I ever thought they could be. Each experience is unique. RS: What is the most fulfilling project you’ve ever worked on? I understand that you’ve done a lot with pop artists, but you have also worked with members of international organizations to produce music. DW: Back in 2008 I was asked to write an anthem of peace for the Tel Aviv Opera House in Israel. They were hosting an event to honor The Peres Center for Peace. I’m Jewish, and growing up I always felt kind of alienated, so getting the opportunity as an adult to do what I love and also celebrate who I am and where I came from was something I really felt strongly about. So, I wrote the anthem for around 1000 international dignitaries some of them Nobel Prize laureates, others worked in the government, some were celebrities and athletes from abroad - and it was performed by Arab and

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Israeli children from that area. It was truly something I will remember and appreciate for the rest of my life, it’s humbling. RS: It’s definitely good to do something that will better the community. So, to turn the tables a bit, you’ve obviously won an extensive amount of awards, from a Grammy to a Golden Globe to two Satellite Awards. And you have your own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! That must take your work to a whole new level. DW: Again, it definitely validates in my mind that I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing. But honestly, I’d pick this life a hundred times over if I could, even if I hadn’t reached this level of success. It’s what I love, and it’s what I’ll always love. RS: What about your personal life, do you have much time for fun? DW: I am definitely a workaholic. I won’t even let anyone into my office because I consider it to be my own private space. It’s messy and stuffy, nothing has been cleaned for 17 years. And that’s the way I like it. I feel like my entire life is in that room. My mother worries about me because I’m not married


and I don’t really date often, and I haven’t started a family, but I think that for me that’s what I want, and times are changing to the point where women don’t have to fit a certain mold where they get married and have a family and give up what they love. Don’t get me wrong, if that’s the life you have chosen that’s fine too, but it isn’t what I want. I’m doing what I want. So to get back to your question, I guess I consider my work as my fun. I’m independent and successful and a strong female presence in the music industry, what could be more fun than that?

Beyonce publicly severed all business relations with her father and removed him as her manager back in 2011, a move which she claims was “natural” and necessary for her to grow in the industry. Beyonce, as an independent, successful woman in the music industry knows the importance of branching out on her own, and has transformed herself into more than a singer. Knowles is set to co-write songs with Diane Warren in the near future; a pairing that will surely bring both of their careers to heights never reached before.

Diane Warren serves as an exceptional example of how women are taking over the music industry like never before. In what was previously considered a “man’s world,” the business side of music is seeing more and more successful females taking the reigns as the years go on. In addition to Diane Warren, another prime example is Beyonce Knowles. She is a multiplatinum recording artist, winner of numerous Grammy awards, and was recently named the “Most Powerful and Influential Musician in the World” by Forbes in 2012. Amongst all of her achievements,

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Sources "Beyonce Knowles." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013. "Diane Warren Interview." Personal interview. 16 Apr. 2013. Duck, Charlotte. "Beyoncé to Manage Herself." Glamour UK. Condé Nast, 12 May 2011. Web. 29 Apr. 2013. "Feature Festival Awards Archive." Palm Springs International Film Society. POP, n.d. Web. 02 May 2013. Nash, Alanna. "She Writes the Songs That Make the Whole World Sing." Good Housekeeping 1998: n. pag. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. Warren, Diane. "Diane Warren Official Page." Real Songs: Diane Warren Music Publishing. Real Songs, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2013. <http:// www.realsongs.com/>.


Famous Faces

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Issue 2000 >> April 16th, 2013 rollingstone.com

INDEX Special Thanks to: Diane Warren BeyoncĂŠ Knowles-Carter OneRepublic Columbia Records Mosley Music Group/Interscope Records Editor-in-Chief Nicola Wood EIC.nw@rollingstonemagazine.com 1290 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10104-0298 (212)484-1616 Submit all letters, inquiries, applications to above address Contact internships@rollingstonemagazine.com for all internship information Specify which field you are interested in (editorial, photo, production, video) Customer Service Office can be contacted by mail at: Rolling Stone Customer Service PO Box 62230 Tampa, FL 33662

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