She’s the queen of the power ballad mega hit – and has even written songs for Biden, Harris and Ringo Starr. Now the world’s most successful female songwriter is finally releasing her own album
At the end of the 1990s, when Diane Warren was the unrivalled queen of the power ballad, her music publisher presented her with a quartet of gold discs and a plaque hailing her as “the career saviour of the 90s”. The discs celebrated the windswept mega-hits Warren had written for Toni Braxton (Un-Break My Heart), LeAnn Rimes (How Do I Live), Celine Dion (Because You Loved Me) and Aerosmith (I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing), the first two of which are still among the bestselling US singles ever.
To be imperial in one pop era is usually to be defined by it for evermore, but Warren has been writing hits for almost four decades, notching up nine US No 1s and 32 Top 10 hits. In 2015, Til It Happens to You, her potent Lady Gaga collaboration for a documentary about campus rape, made her once again the pop equivalent of the striker you turn to when you absolutely have to score a penalty.