Oscar Nominee Diane Warren Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: ‘I See Obstacles as Something to Get Through’ | How She Did It Presented by Johnnie Walker

The legendary songwriter explains how perseverance has driven her career

As the recipient of 14 Oscar nominations, Diane Warren knows a thing or two about persistence. The songwriter behind Oscar-nominated hits like “Because You Loved Me,” “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” and most recently “Applause” from “Tell It Like a Woman” contends that the only way to become good at what you do is by doing it a lot.

“I never wanted to be on the stage or singing the song, I just wanted to write the songs,” Warren said in the latest installment of How She Did It, presented by Johnnie Walker. “It’s hard to make a living as a songwriter, it’s hard to break through. It was knocking on publishers’ doors, it was constantly if you close a door on me, I’ll find another way. But ultimately, I believe that you create your own life by hard work.”

Warren’s career took off with her 1985 hit “Rhythm of the Night” performed by DeBarge, after which she wrote for the likes of Cher, Celine Dion and Aerosmith. Her latest Oscar nomination comes for writing a song that provided a unique challenge.

“It’s seven short films. They’re all different stories about women and women’s struggles and how they overcame them, and I felt like a song was needed that was a very empowering song,” Warren said. “’Give yourself some applause’ was really the right sentiment. Usually, I write a song for one movie, this is writing a song for seven movies, basically. The message of the song really fit all of them.”

Warren received an honorary Academy Award in 2022, and she credits her perseverance with her fruitful career so far.

“You just got to take your own journey. Work hard. Put yourself out there. Be great, not good, because that doesn’t really cut it,” she said. “Nothing’s more powerful than music, because it bypasses your brain. It goes right to your heart. The right song used in the right way is pretty powerful.”