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That Grape Juice Interviews Diane Warren

diane warren That Grape Juice Interviews Diane Warren

She’s your favorite’s favorite and arguably the most sought after female songwriter of all time. Lending her pen to hits such as ‘Unbreak My Heart’, ‘I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing’, and more, Diane Warren has seen her name inked in history books almost as many times as she’s inked hits for the likes of Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige, and countless others – most recently Beyonce for ‘A Star is Born’.

Recognized four times Billboard’s Songwriter of the Year and six times ASCAP Songwriter of the Year, Warren tells That Grape Juice there are still unconquered territories in her already decorated career.  Giving us the scoop on her latest sessions with Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, and more, she dishes on her feelings on Rihanna and Nicki Minaj while addressing rumors that she is currently working with Pop icon Whitney Houston!

All this and more after the jump…

Diane Warren Shouts Out That Grape Juice

TGJ: Thank you for taking time out to speak with us.

DW:  No problem, I’m happy to talk to you.

TGJ:  So, you’ve definitely had a storied career. Hailed as one of the greatest songwriters of all time. When did you first become aware of your passion for writing?

DW:  When I was a kid. I was about 11, I wanted to be a songwriter even younger than that. I taught myself guitar listening to the radio. The cool thing was, I grew up with the best music ever. I feel bad for people growing up now. It’s not the same level of songwriting.  I’ve always loved writing songs. I kinda had a vision, put in the work, and here I am working harder than ever.

TGJ:  What would you say are some of your favorites of your songs?

DW:  One of my favorites is ‘I Was Here’ from Beyonce’s album. It was a cool story how the whole thing happened with her. I was waiting for a meeting with an A&R guy at my house. I had my guitar there and he was two hours late. I started making up this song saying “I want to leave my footprints on the sands of time”. Pretty cool opening line. I thought “one person I’ve yet to work with is Beyonce”. I literally called Jay Z up and played him the song. And, he thought it was one of the best songs he’d heard and he had her call me and she loved it. And, literally this was on a Monday with her album due to be mastered that Friday. She came in that Wednesday, sang it, and blew my mind. I mean her vocals were amazing.

TGJ:  It’s amazing how things just fall in place like that!

DW:  I know! Who would’ve thought it would happen and she only heard it one time on the phone and decided to basically stop her album and get the song on it. Her work ethic is…just amazing. She sang for three hours and it was the best vocal I’d ever heard. She took a dinner break and told me “I’m just getting started”.  That’s what separates the good and the great.

TGJ:   Mentioning Beyonce, we recently read quotes where you mentioned you’d do “anything for Beyonce”…

DW:  Yeah! Artists like that can come at 4 in the morning and lets do it! Tell me what time, I’ll walk or fly there. The artists that are cool and good artists, absolutely, I’d do that. She’s a cool person and I’m doing ‘A Star Is Born’ with her now.

TGJ:  And how is that going? What should we expect different from Barbra Streisand’s iconic version of the film/soundtrack?

DW:  This is going to be the new iconic version with Beyonce. She’s going to be great. Clint Eastwood’s doing it. You can’t do better than that.

TGJ:  Your career has often been compared to David Foster and others, old or new, who are some of your favorites?

DW:  It’s different. David’s more of a producer than a pure songwriter.  There are so many. I love Motown writers like Stevie Wonder. I also like The Beatles, Burt Bacharach to Bee Gees and Prince.  So many great writers I’ve learned from and been inspired by.

TGJ:  On that same note, anyone you haven’t worked with that you’re looking to? Singer and/or songwriters?

DW:  Not one person.  I love great voices and great singers.  I love Andre Bocelli. Fun to go from people like Keri Hilson, who I just worked with (who’s amazing by the way).  She’s a great singer.  Also a few country people. I’m all over the map.  It’s so funny how [Keri and I] met. Twitter!

TGJ:  Speaking of Twitter, your sense of humor has definitely made headlines recently – namely a comment about rapper Nicki Minaj’s ‘Stupid Hoe’ where you mentioned you’d change it to your own tune ‘Dumb…(insert expletive)’.

DW:  Can I say it?

TGJ:  Sure.

DW:  Well I said ‘Dumb C*nt’ but I wasn’t make fun of her, just the title. I make fun of my own titles.  ‘I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing’ became ‘I Don’t Wanna Kiss Your Thing’. I wasn’t making fun of Steven Tyler. I always make fun of titles. I wasn’t saying that about her, I don’t even know her. People took it the wrong way.

TGJ:  What do you think of Nicki Minaj generally?

I think she’s cool. I’d love to work with her.  Somebody played me something today called ‘Ass’ [by Big Sean]. Yeah, it’s not something that I would write. It just was like “whoa”. I’m not prude or anything, call me crazy.  It’s not my thing. I think there are more clever, creative ways to get down and dirty. I think Nicki’s pretty good though. I wouldn’t write songs about ass-eating and stuff though.

TGJ:  So we’ve talked about Beyonce and Nicki and previous projects, but who’s up next to work with you?  We’re hearing rumors that you’re working with Whitney Houston.

DW:  Not yet. I would love to because I did a few songs on her last project like ‘I Didn’t Know My Own Strength’. I’d love to work with Whitney anytime but we’re not as of yet. I will be working with Beyonce, working with Kelly Rowland, Keri Hilson then Beyonce again.  Akon, John Legend, a new guy named Luke James. He’s excellent. I gave him a really great song.  Also, a new artist named Emeli Sande.  Just all over the place. Also, just did a great tune for Jennifer Hudson for the movie ‘Winnie’ where she plays Winnie Mandela called ‘Bleed For Love’.  We’re hoping the movie comes out this year.

TGJ:  Thanks again so much for your time. As ever, we like to wrap things up on a contextual tip.  So, if you could write an entire album for one person – maybe a contemporary singer – who would it be and what direction would you take it?

DW:  I met Jamie Foxx a couple of weeks ago and he would be an interesting person to do something different with. I have something in mind where I would take him. Something really “soul”.

TGJ:  Seeing that the industry goes in trends like Disco, ballads, and now electro pop – would you say the overall industry has declined.  Also, what do you think would be the next trend?

DW:  Yes it’s certainly declined.  Listening to the radio, its like you’re hearing the same electronic track over and over.  Being an insider leads me to believe that it’s time for artists like Adele and Bruno Mars to take center and leave less room for other, less talented artists.  Sign more real artists.  They don’t have to write their own songs, they just need to sing good songs great.  It’s gotta get back to real arists and real songs.

TGJ:  Being that you’ve had such a storied career, what advice would you give songwriters trying to get in the business.

DW:  You gotta be great, can’t just be good.  Not just with songwriting, with everything.

TGJ:  We’ve seen you on American Idol.  What are your thoughts on X Factor and The Voice. Would you ever consider being a full-time judge?

DW:  I would never consider being a full time judge.  I was on that one time and I’d do something like that – a one off. It’s too many of the shows.  Idol’s on then The Voice.  It’s fatiguing.  Anything but another singing competition please.

TGJ:  Picture this:  You’re in the studio with Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Adele.  Who do you A) write a hit song for B) who do you advise C) who do you wave “hello” and “goodbye to”?

DW:  I’d like to work with all three.  Adele has a magical voice and Rihanna has a really cool sound. I love the sound of Rihanna’s voice and I love Gaga. If you put any other singers in there, I may answer more easily. But, I’d love to work with all three of them.

TGJ:  Finally, how would Diane Warren like to be remembered?

DW:  As somebody who wrote f*cking good songs that mattered.  How about that?

Interview & Transcript:  Quinno – That Grape Juice Team

Your thoughts?

 

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44 Comments

  • February 9, 2012 at 7:28 am
    B@tchplease says:
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    Rihanna does have a unique voice either you like it or don’t,not worlds best voice but the worlds most recognized and that’s what it takes to the be one the best.

    Good DAY!!!

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  • February 9, 2012 at 7:30 am
    BEEyonced says:
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    LEGEND …she’s written soooo many great songs. While others are waiting and praying for one big hit, she’s delivering like a factory.

    “I’ll say goodbye for the two of us” by Expose like many other lesser known songs are actually artistically her best work. I was thrilled when hearing she’s working with Beyoncé and ‘I was here’ delivered fully again. Could easily be my all-time BEE fav. in decades to come.

    Much much respect!

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  • February 9, 2012 at 7:37 am
    Capon says:
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    She is such a talent and love I was here

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  • February 9, 2012 at 7:44 am
    RihannaNavyUK says:
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    she is pretty i am happy she is working with Beyonce again IWASHERE is a great song to be honest Beyonce is way better than my fav Rihanna Vocally and everything on stage I compared their live shows as much as i like Rihanna i prefer beyonce all the way I hope my fav will change will grow stage appearance and get a vocal trainer coz she does butchers her songs vocally maybe she will be a bit drunk who knows

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  • February 9, 2012 at 7:47 am
    PrettyYoungThing says:
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    loved the interview! thanks TGJ, keep em coming!

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  • February 9, 2012 at 8:05 am
    Galuda says:
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    Good interview other than the David Foster comment. Everyone who knows music knows he’s primarily a record producer not solely a writer like Diane…

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  • February 9, 2012 at 8:12 am
    xedos says:
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    WHY YOU’RE SO OBSESSED WITH RIHANNA. EVERY PERSON YOU INTERVIEW YOU HAVE TO ASK THEM ABOUT RIHANNA. GIVE IT UP

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  • February 9, 2012 at 8:14 am
    Yes Kelly says:
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    This is this kind of artist Kelly is. Yes she is a Dance diva but the girl has a soulful voice made for songs with depth. She needs to study old great jazz artists and find where her true voice identity lays. Diane does not write, write for nor suffer foolishness nor fools.

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  • February 9, 2012 at 8:25 am
    Boo! says:
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    Sam, I bet you were fuming when she said she likes Rihanna’s sound and would like to work with her! Failed attempt at getting an industry great to shade her lmao.

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  • February 9, 2012 at 8:27 am
    Boo! says:
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    Great interview by the way!

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  • February 9, 2012 at 8:51 am
    x says:
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    keri hilson stalks ciara. she saw dianne tweet ciara about working together and wala she was tweeting dianne to jump all over it.

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  • February 9, 2012 at 9:26 am
    KING#15 says:
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    WHY DIDN’T YALL ASK HER ABOUT WHAT SOUND AND TYPE OF SONGS SHE HAS WRTTEN FOR CIARA

    DIANE TWEETED CIARA THAT THEY WERE GOING TO BE WORKING TOGETHER SOON MONTHS AGO

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  • February 9, 2012 at 9:33 am
    tyra says:
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    DMME HOW DOES BEYONCE GET SO MANY PEOPLE TO ADORE HER LIKE THAT WOMAN WOULDNT STOP TALKING ABOUT HER LOL I HOPE BEYONCE GONA HAVE NEW MATERIAL END OF THIS YEAR AND HOPEFULLY NOTHING LIKE THE MATERIAL ON 4

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  • February 9, 2012 at 9:45 am
    fatu sankoh says:
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    i love her loving bey i cant wait for the star is born god bless our bey for life

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  • February 9, 2012 at 9:52 am
    Dev says:
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    Its funny, out of all her songs i like I Was Here the least.
    What i didn’t like about this interview is that out of all the artists well know or lesser know the interviews tone was set to discuss the same old ones we see on this blog day after day.

    I personally would like to here Alexandra Burke, Miss Badu, Brandy and Monica (again) …. to name a few

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  • February 9, 2012 at 9:53 am
    Dev says:
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    @FATU SANKOH

    Get a life

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  • February 9, 2012 at 10:07 am
    ojie king says:
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    This is why i f****** love this blog!!!! Interviews of great and talented people!! Keep em coming!

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  • February 9, 2012 at 10:41 am
    Josh says:
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    Great interview.
    She sure likes Beyonce, who can blame her ;)

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  • February 9, 2012 at 10:56 am
    Frachella says:
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    Thanks for interviewing her, hire me so I can do the next one!!
    She is a legend, and if you follow her on twitter, you wouldn’t believe the s*** she tweets!! She is hilarious! Beyonce! Good thing’s happen for her because she has a beautiful spirit, i’ve yet to hear from anyone in the industry say otherwise..

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  • February 9, 2012 at 10:59 am
    Saint says:
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    This woman is so bogus. Every artist she had worked with, she has said the same about them as she saying about Beyonce…it is pure ass kissing.

    Did she really say Beyonce’s ‘I Was Here’ was the best vocal she’d ever heard? Really Dianne?

    Better than:

    -Steven Tyler ‘Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing’?
    -Tony Braxton’s ‘Unbreak My Heart’?
    -Whitney Houston’s ‘I Learned From The Best’?

    Really Dianne? I Was Here cannot vocally touch any of those songs…child please!

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  • February 9, 2012 at 11:40 am
    Bey is legend says:
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    she said she’s working with Beyonce again, besides the soundtrack, thats gotta mean a new album n there’s rumours of a tour too…… Hell Yeah!!!!!!!!!

    Im glad she’s workin with Kelly. Hopefully gets it right this time if she gets a hit like motivation or even bigger one. She squandered a good opportunity.

    Diane’s a great songwriter. Ive always thought so even b4 she worked with Bey. I want Bey to step away from the boy/girl songs and explore other topics. She’s said enough in that theme already

    @saint

    Why are u pressed? The question was addressed to Diane n she answered it. She dint give an open-ended answer. If u disagree, thats ur bizness, dont be tryin to pass ur ish as fact or serve as a mouthpiece. Diane Warren has spoken and u will deal!

    And since when has Steven tyler been a great vocalist …

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  • February 9, 2012 at 12:52 pm
    kimberly says:
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    I love when she agrees that music has declines and the new music listeners, I am worried because that is all they know. Too many electro pop music like my uncle said ” EXECISE MUSIC”. I must all agree that real artist need to take over the radio not these techno, untalented artist.
    Diane keep writing all these amazing songs. I respect all the artist including mary J blige and beyonce that will never go down that techno pop road. It’s a trend and trends are seasonal.

    btw can’t wait for a star is born, I need to her that soundtrack already

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  • February 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm
    s_w_a_p says:
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    When a legendary hit-making songwriter say that they’ll do anything for you and say that you’re one of their fave artist, then you it’s something. Diane Warren doesn’t have to ass-kiss anybody. She was a millionaire before Beyonce, and will still be a millionaire without her. I can’t wait to hear their new material together. “I Was Here” SLAYS!!!!

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  • February 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm
    ITAINTYOBABY says:
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    Why do you need to bring up Rihanna’s name in every interview, we all know you don’t like her and you just want someone from the music industry to validate your claim that she can’t sing, but once again no one bites. Like it or not Rihanna is a great artist who makes great music if it was all about her modeling as you call it then Cassie would be burning the charts up.

    I can’t wait to here what Dianne and Bey did for A Star Is Born movie

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  • Vote

    [...] she plays Winnie Mandela called ‘Bleed For Love’. We’re hoping the movie comes out this year.Click Here for the full interview.TweetShare Share on Tumblr /**/Tags: Beyonce, diane warren, Jamie Foxx, [...]

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  • February 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm
    MISHKA says:
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    She loves Bey yay! She better stan!

    Diane Warren is one of my favourite songwriters ever. I’m surprised she did not talk about Toni Braxton though. “Unbreak my heart” is like her signature song.

    LOL @ TGJ trying hard to drag the shade to their favourite punchball ! Rihanna has nothing but a very distinctive voice, that’s her one and only moneymaker, w’all know that.

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    [...] Click Here for the full interview. Rate this: Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

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  • February 9, 2012 at 5:29 pm
    Teacher says:
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    B@tchplease
    February 9, 2012 at 7:28 am
    Rihanna does have a unique voice either you like it or don’t,not worlds best voice but the worlds most recognized and that’s what it takes to the be one the best.

    Good DAY!!!
    __________
    Boo!
    February 9, 2012 at 8:25 am
    Sam, I bet you were fuming when she said she likes Rihanna’s sound and would like to work with her! Failed attempt at getting an industry great to shade her lmao.
    ______
    ITAINTYOBABY
    February 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm
    Why do you need to bring up Rihanna’s name in every interview, we all know you don’t like her and you just want someone from the music industry to validate your claim that she can’t sing, but once again no one bites. Like it or not Rihanna is a great artist who makes great music if it was all about her modeling as you call it then Cassie would be burning the charts up.

    I can’t wait to here what Dianne and Bey did for A Star Is Born movie
    __________________________________

    All of these!!!! Sam and TGJ staff failed again and they are all a BUNCH OF PRESSED CUNTS who will deal!!!!!…..OAN…I LOVE I Was Here..one of my favs off of 4…..I’m glad that Diane is well known so nobody won’t be tempted to steal writing credits!!!
    :-D

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  • February 9, 2012 at 5:36 pm
    JJFan1814 says:
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    Another interview…It was a great read.

    Another interview … Involving Rihanna.

    Another interview … That likes Rihanna.

    TGJ #Fail

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  • February 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm
    80s Baby says:
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    I love these interviews with industry insiders. They don’t care, they tell it like it is. Keep’em coming!

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  • February 9, 2012 at 6:46 pm
    JohnVidal says:
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    I have to say it was like she didn´t say anything at all. Just good words for everybody! How can she say that she thinks is time for people like Bruno and Adele to be the center and less talented artists need to have less room… and then talk good about Rihanna?????? Who are those less talented she was talking about then? Cos you can´t get more talentless than Rihanna or Britney Spears
    Also she has written way better songs than I was Here. For Celine Dion for example. She is too ass kissing for me

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  • February 9, 2012 at 6:52 pm
    JohnVidal says:
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    And yeah “I was here” is one of Beyonce´s best songs. That´s speaks for the low level of quality of Beyonce´s catalogue

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  • February 9, 2012 at 7:41 pm
    Girrrl says:
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    You try so hard to get celebs to diss Rihanna and you fail every single time!

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  • February 9, 2012 at 8:26 pm
    Teacher says:
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    JohnVidal
    February 9, 2012 at 6:46 pm
    I have to say it was like she didn´t say anything at all. Just good words for everybody! How can she say that she thinks is time for people like Bruno and Adele to be the center and less talented artists need to have less room… and then talk good about Rihanna?????? Who are those less talented she was talking about then? Cos you can´t get more talentless than Rihanna or Britney Spears
    Also she has written way better songs than I was Here. For Celine Dion for example. She is too ass kissing for me
    ________________________

    f*** you ass wipe!

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  • February 9, 2012 at 8:41 pm
    @antertain says:
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    HIT AFTER HIT
    Writing is the true art for her

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  • February 9, 2012 at 9:42 pm
    Theman says:
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    T is bull about that Beyonce song being the best that she has ever written. Lol @ Keri being a great vocalist. Diane enjoys joking around.

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  • February 10, 2012 at 12:02 am
    Bey Fan... says:
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    DW: One of my favorites is ‘I Was Here’ from Beyonce’s album.

    WHERE DOES SHE SAY IT WAS THE BEST SONG SHE HAS EVER WRITTEN???

    And this proves my point more and more….ppl are quick to call beyonce a thief and talk about her stealing credits, BUT MOST SONG WRITTERS WANT TO WORK WITH HER, and they want to work with her time and time again.

    And yes the industry loves Bey….its just the ppl who sit at home behind keyboards and computer screens who seem to have a problem with her.

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  • February 10, 2012 at 7:06 am
    JohnVidal says:
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    @Theman
    Must be that :)

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  • February 10, 2012 at 11:34 am
    kimberly says:
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    @ beyfan, everybody loves Beyonce. The ones on the blogs are repetitive. It is an honor to work with this woman.

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  • February 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm
    Gaga's Army says:
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    FLOP….x3 :)

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  • April 9, 2013 at 10:15 pm
    Blake Arthur says:
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    watch the newet movie scarymovie5 here:

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  • April 9, 2013 at 10:54 pm
    Baldwin Sainsbury says:
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    watch the newet movie scarymovie5 here:

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