June 08, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

Grammy-winning songwriter Diane Warren is the queen of pop schmaltz. Her power ballads for ‘N Sync (”Music of My Heart”), Toni Braxton (”Un-Break My Heart”), Aerosmith (”I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”), and 80 other top 10 artists are constantly on the radio. The soundtracks to ”Angel Eyes,” ”Moulin Rouge,” ”Pearl Harbor,” and 60 other movies include her tunes. The secret of her success? These stupid questions — which reference her music — probably don’t hold the answer.

Where is O-Town on the U.S. map? It would be in Florida, in Orlando, right? That’s where they grow all those boy bands; there’s a big crop.

Is there a machine used to pick them? Lou Pearlman [the mastermind behind ‘N Sync], he’s the one that knows how to use that machine. They farm them.

How can you tell when they’re ripe? When they come to my office looking for songs. I’m not at all ragging on them. Some of those guys are really good.

The song you wrote for Faith Hill on the ”Pearl Harbor” soundtrack is titled ”There You’ll Be.” Is that because the Gap Band had already taken ”You Dropped a Bomb on Me”? Yes. How did you guess?

If you could have anybody sing one of your songs, who would it be? There are dwarfs singing ”Rhythm of the Night” in ”Moulin Rouge.” My wish was to have dwarfs sing a song, and now that wish is fulfilled.

The Milli Vanilli fiasco: Do you ”Blame It on the Rain”? One should blame everything on the rain, and never blame anything on oneself, because the rain sucks. When artists win Grammys for nothing, just blame it on the rain — and send me the check. I’m totally proud of that song no matter who sang it.

Where does love lead you back to someday? That one led me back to the bank.

Who has better nails: Elton John or Babs? I’ve never noticed their nails up close, but they both could probably scratch your eyes out if you pissed them off.

If this interview were a song, what would you call it? ”You Didn’t Want to Miss a Thing.”

That’s awfully generous. ”Un-Write This Article,” how about that?

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