A Helluva High Note: Surviving Life, Love, and American Idol

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Overview

Kara DioGuardi is an award-winning hitmaker, a savvy record executive, and a successful music publisher whose songs have been recorded by such superstars as Pink, Carrie Underwood, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, Santana, Steven Tyler, Céline Dion, and so many others. She was also the feisty fourth judge on American Idol. But success wouldn’t have happened for this songwriter, artist, and producer without the dark times of defeat. Filled with the grace, raw honesty, and...

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A Helluva High Note: Surviving Life, Love, and American Idol

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Overview

Kara DioGuardi is an award-winning hitmaker, a savvy record executive, and a successful music publisher whose songs have been recorded by such superstars as Pink, Carrie Underwood, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, Santana, Steven Tyler, Céline Dion, and so many others. She was also the feisty fourth judge on American Idol. But success wouldn’t have happened for this songwriter, artist, and producer without the dark times of defeat. Filled with the grace, raw honesty, and haunting emotion of her hit songs, A Helluva High Note is the soundtrack to Kara’s life—an intimate anthem about living, creating, loving, stumbling, picking herself up again, and ultimately succeeding. It is a moving chronicle of the experiences that have inspired her songs and given her the resilience and perspective to become the confidant, accomplished, adventurous warrior she is today.

Kara not only writes about what it was like to collaborate with some of our favorite performing artists, she also opens up about everything from her struggles with debilitating stage fright and an equally paralyzing eating disorder, to the most devastating yet profoundly life-altering experience—caring for her mother during her fatal battle with cancer. And, of course, she shares behind-the-scenes stories from her years on American Idol and the real truth about her departure from the show. 

A Helluva High Note is filled with memorable and inspirational tales from the heart and trenches of life, business, and the world of entertainment. Passionate, wise, funny, and down-to-earth, it proves that finding, cultivating, and following your own true voice really is possible.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Most of us think of Kara DioGuardi as an American Idol judge who defended performers by fending off Simon Cowell's scathing comments. That iceberg experience, fortunately, was only a brief detour in a songwriting and producer career that has made DioGuardi one of the most sought-after talents in the music industry. Her deeply personal lyrics arrive in the world through the voices of the likes of Celine Dion, Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera, but it is Kara herself who originally expressed the emotion. In this memoir, she bares her soul directly in a gritty, surprisingly witty memoir about coping with her demons, which include self-esteem problems, an eating disorder, and, yes, Simon Cowell.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062059895
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/26/2011
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

A Grammy-nominated, 2011 NAMM Music for Life Award winner, 2009 NMPA Songwriter Icon Award winner, and 2007 BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year, Kara DioGuardi has songs that have appeared on more than 160 million albums. Kara also serves as executive vice president of talent development at Warner Bros. Records and co-owns Arthouse Entertainment. In 2011, she made her Broadway debut in Chicago as Roxie Hart. She lives in Los Angeles and Maine with her husband, Michael McCuddy.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction: The Fourth Judge 1

1 Spinning Around 9

2 Sober 21

3 Taking Chances 35

4 Mama's Song 51

5 Escape 61

6 Pieces of Me 77

7 I Do Not Hook Up 91

8 Walk Away 105

9 Rich Girl 117

10 Ain't No Other Man 131

11 No Boundaries 145

Epilogue 169

Appendix A My Commandments for Determined Songwriters 171

Appendix B Random Reflections 179

Appendix C Awards 187

Appendix D U.S. Singles 189

Appendix E International Singles 195

Appendix F Top-Ten Albums 203

Appendix G Soundtracks and Songs on Film 215

Appendix H Theme Songs and Songs on Television 217

Appendix I Campaigns and Commercials 221

Permissions 223

About the Author 225

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 6, 2011

    Great book, Love Kara!

    Just like through her songs, Kara has found a way to connect with her audience. Her memoir tells of some dark times in her past that she was able to overcome and become stronger through. The books goes into detail on the true story of her experience of American Idol. She also gives honest insight into how many of her hit songs were created. Inspirational in many aspects, Kara continues to shine through her words.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2013

    Alli

    Could somebody plz tell what happened about her bikini stunt on American Idol??
    Alli.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2012

    Didn't know much about Kara Dioguardi before reading this book;

    Didn't know much about Kara Dioguardi before reading this book; besides knowing she's a fantastic songwriter. I was really intrigued with this read. I loved her tips for being successful in any business you may be pursuing. I also really appreciated the glimpses into the writing sessions and development of some of her hit songs. Definitely worth reading for anyone interested in the music biz.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    Good Read

    As a long-time American Idol fan, I enjoyed reading both about Kara's background and many of her accomplishments as well as the behind-the-scene accounts of the ever-evolving reality show. If you are a fan from Idol's earlier years and interested in the pop-music industry, you will enjoy this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    Interesting

    But would not read again

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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