New Rochelle native Kara DioGuardi had just received a political science degree from Duke University, but she told me that career path burdened her as early as her junior year.
“I’d always heard melodies in my head, I’d always loved the theatre and I’d loved the arts, but I just didn’t know how to do that. I didn’t know how to break in.”
So although her father, former Congressman Joe DioGuardi, wasn’t thrilled to hear she was singing in an Ossining garage band called Gramma Trips instead of becoming a prosecuting attorney, he offered advice that wound up propelling her career in the music industry:
“You know what you do? You find the place that will help you to learn â€¦ tell them you’ll work for them for nothing. They’re probably going to pay you something. But just do it.”
From that moment on, Kara DioGuardi’s singing, songwriting and producing talents transcended the Lower Hudson Valley and Durham, N.C., to reach an international audience. And all that led to her recently being named as “American Idol’s” newest judge.
Find out more about her Westchester County upbringing and her path to stardom in my article appearing in today’s edition of The Journal News.