Kara Elizabeth DioGuardi (pronounced /ˈkærə diːɵˈɡwɑrdi/; born December 9, 1970) is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, music publisher, A&R executive, composer and TV personality. She writes music primarily in the light pop-rock, dance, and R&B genres. DioGuardi has worked with many popular artists; her songs have appeared on more than 159 million albums worldwide. DioGuardi is a Grammy nominated writer, 2011 NAMM Music For Life Award winner, 2009 NMPA Songwriter Icon Award winner, 2007 BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year, and has received 15 BMI Awards for co-writing the most performed songs on the radio.
DioGuardi served as a judge on American Idol for its eighth and ninth seasons. In 2008 she was appointed to the position of executive vice president of talent development at Warner Bros. Records, and has signed acts such as Jason Derülo and Iyaz. She is currently the head judge on Bravo's singer-songwriter competition series Platinum Hit.
DioGuardi was born in Ossining, New York. She is of Arbëresh (Albanian) and Italian descent and was raised Roman Catholic. Her father is former Republican Congressman Joseph J. DioGuardi. She is a 7th cousin, once removed of the veteran TV personality Regis Philbin. Her mother Carol died in 1997 after a 7-year battle with ovarian cancer.