Diane Warren assembled superstar debut album during lockdown

After a wildly successful career as a songwriter, the pandemic prompted Diane Warren to try a different approach to music

LONDON -- If there was an award for not winning awards, Diane Warren would have won it.

Warren is releasing her debut album Friday, with collaborations from friends old and new, including Celine Dion, John Legend, Ty Dolla Sign plus a bringing together of rapper G-Eazy and guitar legend Santana. She said the pandemic spurred her on, working alone in her studio with no distractions. She adds “no one was bothering me, all I did was annoy myself.”

Another benefit of working during lockdown meant it was easy to track down her collaborators: “Yeah, don’t tell me you’re too busy to get on a Zoom, come on. You’re sitting in your house, too,” she said, smiling.

Warren, who won a Grammy Award for 1988's “Nothing's Going to Stop Us Now,” has penned global hits such as “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” for Aerosmith and “Un-Break My Heart” for Toni Braxton. With her debut, “Diane Warren: The Cave Sessions Vol. 1″ Warren says this is the first time she’s put her own name to the songs.

“Why can’t I be DJ Khaled of songwriters or Mark Ronson or Calvin Harris or all these people that are producers that do this, why can’t I get together all kinds of people to feature on my record," she said while explaining where the inspiration for the record came from.

“It’s kind of like casting, you know, casting a part that was really fun,” she added.

The lead single “She’s Fire” features the unlikely combination of Santana and G-Eazy. Warren said when she wrote the music for the song, there was only one person she had in mind.

“When I wrote the guitar part, that little riff at the end of the chorus, I heard Santana in my head. So I went to Santana,” she said. She adds that G-Eazy’s voice on “She’s Fire” is “amazing.”

Warren says she already has enough music for a second “Cave Sessions" volume.

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