Grammy-nominated songwriter Kara DioGuardi has joined American Idol as a fourth judge. She will sit alongside Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson at the judges' table and use her background as an award-winning songwriter and producer to praise or critique the wannabe hopefuls throughout the competition. The eighth season of American Idol premieres January, 2009, on FOX.
"We are turning the heat up on Idol this year and are thrilled to welcome Kara to the judges' table," said creator and executive producer Simon Fuller. "She is a smart, sassy lady, and one of America's most successful songwriters. We know she will bring a new level of energy and excitement to the show."
"We had originally intended for American Idol to have four judges," said executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz. "We've seen from our international series that having a fourth judge creates a dynamic that benefits both the contestants and the viewers."
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Mike Darnell, President, Alternative Programming of FOX, added "For the past seven seasons, Paula has had to endure the experience of being the only woman at the judges' table. She's been as an island of consideration and gentle criticism between Randy and Simon, offering her invaluable expertise as a performer and No. 1 artist to the thousands who have competed on American Idol. With Kara by her side, Paula finally has some back-up and now there is going to be a lot more 'girl power' on the show."
One of the industry's most sought after songwriters and producers, DioGuardi's songs have appeared on more than 100 million records. Her songs have been recorded by Grammy award-winning artists including Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Santana, and Pink. Scores of major recording artists including Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, Pussycat Dolls, Miley Cyrus, The Jonas Brothers, Natasha Bedingfield, Jewel, Ashley Tisdale, Katharine McPhee, Taylor Hicks, Bo Bice, Clay Aiken, Ashlee Simpson, Hilary Duff, Jessica Simpson, Kylie Minogue, Enrique Iglesias, Nick Lachey and Marc Anthony have also released DioGuardi's songs.
Over the last four years, she has been awarded 10 BMI Pop Awards for having written the most performed songs on radio. From her catalog of several hundred songs, over 264 have been released on major labels worldwide; and over 165 have appeared on multi-platinum selling albums. DioGuardi co-owns Arthouse Entertainment, where she develops and mentors fellow hit writers, producers and artists.
American Idol is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc. and Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.