The Grammy Awards were last night and as usual it was also an entertaining assortment of talented people performing their songs live as well as the award giving and quirkey thank you speeches. There was also a tribute to David Bowie by doing a medley of his famous songs performed by Lady Gaga. It made me think, how much credit should be given to the performer vs. credit to the songwriter? Traditionally we don’t even remember who the songwriter is. I’m sure they prefer it to be that way as long as they get paid a decent price for their songs. If they had the confidence perhaps they would perform their work too.
Lady Gaga recently also performed her newest song called “Till It Happens to You” at the Billboard Awards where the night was dedicated to Women in Music. The song is about sexual assault. A topic Gaga and the songwriter Diane Warren have in common. They were both assaulted in their past. Diane who? Never heard of her but boy, you have heard her songs performed by all kinds of artists. Diane wrote that song for a documentary about rape on college campuses. Gaga makes it famous. The song has a Grammy and Oscar nomination. It is Diane Warren’s 8th nomination in a three decade long career. She wrote Turn Back Time for Cher. Don’t Want To Miss A Thing for Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. You Were My Strength When I Was Weak for Celine Dion. “I Was Here” for Beyoncé. She is a songwriting machine. Diane has written more than 250 top selling songs in her career so far. 70 of them were in the top ten. She has songs for Faith Hill, Christine Aguilera, Ricky Martin, country people, pop artists and rhythm and blues people.
She writes at least one new song every week. Her songs tend to circulate on common themes. She wrote Come Break My Heart for Toni Braxton. How Do I Live Without You sung by LeAnn Rimes. Diane has been writing love songs since she was 14 years old and claims to have never fallen in love with anyone. Then how does she know so much about love. Her parents did not think songwriting was even a career. That made her even more ambitions to succeed. Her first hit was The Rhythm of the Night in 1985 for the band DeBarge. She is called the Song Whisperer and she loves it. Cher didn’t even like he song Turn Back Time at first but now is indebted to Diane for giving her one of her greatest hits. Duane Warren has earned the respect of all artists.
It must be nice to be a force in music without ever singing a note in a recording.