Daniel Powter: Dyslexic Musician
Daniel Powter shot to the top of the music charts with his 2005 smash single, ‘Bad Day.’ He became the first male Canadian solo artist to reach #1 on Billboard’s Top 100 in ten years. Powter amassed a dedicated fan base and had his music featured in hit television shows and movies.
With all of his successes, Powter kept a secret: he was diagnosed with the learning disorder, dyslexia, in third grade. He even dropped out of music college due to his difficulty with reading music. Yet Powter didn’t let his challenge with dyslexia stop him from becoming a megastar. He serves as a role model and heartfelt story to the community that a learning disorder can inspire you to go for your dreams.
Daniel Powter’s Early Years
Powter was born in British Columbia on February 25, 1971. He played violin and piano with his mother as a child. During his violin lessons, Powter had difficulty reading his music. After a group of bullies attacked him and broke his instrument, Powter switched exclusively to piano.
Powter was diagnosed with dyslexia as a child, but found comfort in his music. He formed a band in high school and had their single played on local radio after winning a coveted contest. Powter attended university for a brief period and dropped out to focus on his career. “After a while I started to hate school,” he reported. “I realized it was better for me to create on my own.”
Daniel Powter’s Rise to Stardom
Powter moved to Vancouver and met his future producer, Jeff Dawson. The two produced his solo demo and signed to Warner Bros. Records. Powter released the single, ‘Bad Day,’ in Europe in 2005. Shortly after, the song reached the United States and became a hit. ‘Bad Day’ went platinum three times in the United States and once in Australia.
Coca Cola adopted the song for their ad campaign, and it was featured in programs such as ‘American Idol.’ He performed at Live 8 in Berlin that year. Powter won New Artist of the Year at the Juno Awards in 2006. He released subsequent singles and collaborated with international artists. Powter released two other albums and sang the Canadian national anthem at the NHL Winter Classic in 2010.
Daniel Powter and Dyslexia
Powter told People Magazine that his dyslexia is “a blessing.” He used his disorder to learn to play music by ear and write his original songs. Powter stopped playing violin due to his disorder but mastered his skills in piano to become a musical success.
Once plagued by his dyslexia, Powter utilized it as a tool to become a recognizable pop artist. If it wasn’t for his disorder, Powter would not have had to work as hard to achieve stardom. He’s a reminder to the dyslexic community that fame and achievements can be obtained even with a learning disorder. Powter is a true role model and his story of perseverance can be a guiding example to all.