Fast Facts

  • Father, Joseph J. DioGuardi, was a Republican Congressman in the 1980s; mother, Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi, co-founded the Albanian American Civic League.
  • Changed her mind about becoming a lawyer during her junior year at Duke University, and began singing with a garage band called Gramma Trips.
  • Worked at Billboard magazine for five years in the mid-'90s.
  • With the Eurythmics Dave Stewart, formed pop-rock group Platinum Weird, which released its debut album in 2006.
  • Served as a judge on ABC's short-lived talent competition series The One: Making a Music Star (2006).
  • Was named Broadcast Music Inc.'s 2006 Pop Songwriter of the Year, and has won a number of other songwriting awards from the performing-rights organization.
  • Has composed songs for American Idol alums Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Carrie Underwood, Katharine McPhee, Taylor Hicks and Bo Bice, among others.


  • Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi — Mother
  • Mike McCuddy — Husband
  • Greyson James Carroll McCuddy — Son
  • Joseph J. DioGuardi — Father
  • John DioGuardi — Brother


  • Duke University, Durham NC (Political Science)


  • Birth Name: Kara Elizabeth DioGuardi
  • Birth Place: New York
  • Birthday: December 9, 1970,
  • Profession: Songwriter, Producer, Singer, Reality competition judge
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