Chart-Topping Songwriter Kara DioGuardi to be Honored at World's Largest Celebration of Italian-American Heritage

Returns to Site of Early Ovations as Part of Audience

American Idol Star Katharine McPhee to Perform DioGuardi Songs

Sep 12, 2007, 01:00 ET from Columbus Citizens Foundation

    NEW YORK, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In 1983, at the tender
 age of 12, Kara DioGuardi took to the Waldorf-Astoria stage and belted out
 a series of songs at the Columbus Citizens Foundation's Annual Gala Dinner:
 Oscar Hammerstein's "Getting to Know You," Bette Midler's "The Rose" and
 "The Wind Beneath My Wings," and John Kander and Fred Ebb's "New York, New
     The crowd of nearly 1,000 people -- including dignitaries from Italy
 and Sophia Loren, the Grand Marshal of New York City's Columbus Day Parade
 that year -- showered the performance with cheers of "Brava!"
     On October 6, Ms. DioGuardi will return to the Waldorf-Astoria Grand
 Ballroom. But this time, she will be part of the audience as Honoree of the
 Columbus Citizens Foundation's Annual Gala Dinner. The artist singing
 onstage will be American Idol star Katharine McPhee, who will be performing
 standards as well as a song Ms. DioGuardi wrote.
     Ms. DioGuardi is BMI's Pop Songwriter of the Year. Her songs are on
 over 100 million records, including performances by Celine Dion, Faith
 Hill, and Christina Aguilera.
     Her creative gifts have led to collaborations with performers who work
 in an exceptionally wide range of styles, from Latin crooner Enrique
 Iglesias and Pop goddesses Kelly Clarkson and Gwen Stefani to soulful
 rockers Carlos Santana and Avril Lavigne and peaches and cream Disney stars
 Hilary Duff and Hannah Montana.
     Ms. DioGuardi's success in so many styles is unusual in the music
 industry. "I love all kinds of music," she said. "It's easy to stay
 inspired when you jump from genre to genre and project to project. Every
 day is a chance to create something unique."
     In addition to her songwriting, Ms. DioGuardi is co-owner of Arthouse
 Entertainment, where she develops and mentors fellow writers, producers,
 and artists. Founded just three years ago, Arthouse Entertainment has been
 on Billboard's chart of Top-Ten national music publishers for three
 consecutive quarters.
     Ms. DioGuardi still does what she did at the Waldorf-Astoria 29 years
 ago -- sing. Her performances highlight the backgrounds on multi-platinum
 records, and she is continuously behind-the-scenes, vocal producing the
 mega- stars who have made her songs among the most widely-known in the
     Not only will Ms. DioGuardi return to the Waldorf-Astoria Grand
 Ballroom, but she also will be marching in New York City's Columbus Day
 Parade, the largest celebration of Italian-American heritage in the world,
 on October 8. The parade is organized by the non-profit Columbus Citizens
 Foundation, which holds events celebrating Italian heritage and raises
 scholarship funds for needy and deserving students. In 2007, it is
 providing financial aid to 849 students.
     "It's a thrill to go back to the Waldorf," said Ms. DioGuardi. "I
 remember watching the Columbus Day Parade when I was growing up and being
 in awe of people like Sophia Loren, who is such an amazing person and
 actor. It's amazing to realize that what I've been able to do in my life is
 a source of inspiration for others. I feel like I've barely gotten
     Press contact: Andrew Decker  |  Andrew Decker Communications
                    T. 212.222.4688  |  F. 212.222.3188  |
     For Kara DioGuardi:
                    Marcel Pariseau  |  True Public Relations
                    T. 323.957.0730  |  323.957.0731
     Events         Columbus Citizens Foundation Annual Gala Dinner
                    Saturday, October 6, 2007 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in
                     New York
                    50th St. and Park Ave., 6:30 PM to Midnight
                    63rd Annual Columbus Day Parade
                    Monday, October 8, 2007, Fifth Ave. from 44th to 79th
                     Streets, 11:45 AM
     Tickets:       Columbus Citizens Foundation, 212.249.9923

SOURCE Columbus Citizens Foundation