Kara DioGuardi

As a Grammy-nominated songwriter in the pop/rock vein, Kara DioGuardi worked with some of the industry's most marketable musicians during the '90s and 2000s. Born in 1970 to a set of extremely accomplished parents (her mother, Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi, co-founded the Albanian American Civic League, while father Joseph J. DioGuardi served in Congress during the 1980s), she grew up in the affluent community of New Rochelle, NY. DioGuardi discovered her vocal ability and began writing songs during her time at Duke University, and a subsequent job at Billboard magazine allowed her the chance to learn the machinations of the music business.