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Canadian Singer Rides Wave of 'Bad Day'

Canadian singer-songwriter Daniel Powter says he had no expectations for his first album. But one catchy track from the collection fueled international success.

Daniel Powter's smash hit, "Bad Day", was downloaded 1.5 million times to become the best-selling digital single for the first half of 2006. The song reached the Top 5 in several European countries before catching the attention of pop radio in the U.S. While being used as the send-off theme for finalists on the American Idol talent competition, "Bad Day" spent five weeks at Number One on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

Daniel Powter grew up in Canada, where he began playing the violin at age four. In his teens, he switched to piano, and later studied music in college. He dropped out of college after only two years because of difficulties brought on by dyslexia. Instead of school, Daniel spent his time writing songs and singing with his band in small local clubs. Powter was a confident songwriter, but says it took some time to get over his stage fright.

"I think I needed to get some training under my belt," he says. "I was a little bit reluctant. I didn't know whether or not I wanted to do the whole thing in front of the crowds, so they sort of sent me to boot camp [basic training]."

Daniel wrote all of the songs on his self-titled debut album, and spent less than $6,000 to record the project in his Vancouver apartment. He eventually caught the attention of executives at Warner Brothers Records. Powter says he was surprised that the label found his music commercially-viable.

"I had no idea I would ever get signed, so everything that's happening to me is like a dream. So, I'm very happy," he says.

Daniel's first album has sold close to two million copies worldwide. He kicked off his first U.S. concert tour on July 17, and has just released the album's second single.