Blair Daly is an internationally known songwriter whose ability to craft hooks, both lyrically and musically, has resulted in hits on numerous charts–-country, adult pop, dance, active rock, Christian, adult contemporary and Hot AC – and songs recorded by artists ranging from Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw to Halestorm, Kelly Clarkson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Il Divo.
His hits include Uncle Kracker’s international smash, “Smile,” and number ones for Kelly Clarkson (“People Like Us”), Kip Moore (“Beer Money”), Rascal Flatts (“Stand”), as well as the Dove Award-nominated “Zombie” for We As Human.
Tim McGraw included three of his songs on Sundown Heaven Town, and Sixx: A..M. recorded “Hyperventilate,” "Deadlihood” and “Skin.” Other artists who have recorded his songs include Big & Rich “(That’s Why I Pray” and “Wild West Show”), Scott Stapp (“Dying to Live”), Saving Abel (“Bringing Down the Giant”), Backstreet Boys (“Crawling Back to You”), Gary Allan (“Sand in My Soul.), O.A.R. (“Peace”), and the title track to Little Big Town’s Pain Killer. Artists such as Carrie Underwood, Maddie&Tae, Kip Moore, Art of Dying, Rita Wilson and Gary Allan, have upcoming releases of his songs. He has also found success as a producer, working with artists including Katie Armiger and Sarah Buxton.
Daly is a musical chameleon who lets the artist’s vision be the driving force behind his writing sessions. His songwriting is all about the artist, so he tries to be the best collaborator possible. His delivers whatever is needed in an individual writing session, whether it is creating the lyrics, melody or tracks.
“I try to find a unique idea and pull something out of the artist that really means something to them, versus just writing a song that sounds like a hit,” he says.
“When the artist walks in the room, my goal is for them to be comfortable, feel like they can trust me and know that I will go down whatever road they want to ride down that day and it’s a safe place,” he says. “The most important thing to me is that they have a good time doing it, and they want to come back .”
The common thread among his hits in all genres is that they feature a lyric or message that connects with the audience. “The way to be able to do that, at least for me, is to do your homework,” says Daly, whose songwriting influences include Steven Tyler, Mutt Lange, Katy Perry, Pat Monahan, and Tom Douglas, among others. “It is about studying whatever formats you are writing in and listening to a lot of music.
Of course, hits such as “Smile” have found success in several formats. As it began climbing the Hot AC chart, a country version was released, and then it was released to the Adult Contemporary chart. “It was a game-changer,” he says, “I don’t know if classic is the right word, but it’s a big recurrent song. Those are the copyrights that every writer strives for. To have a “classic” in the late 2000s is such a rare thing, and I’m extremely thankful for that one.”
He grew up listening to his parents’ collection of vinyl albums from artists such as The Doors, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Chicago and Linda Ronstadt, while growing up in Opelousas, La. He watched MTV, started a rock band and dreamed of being a rock star on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip. However, his parents wouldn’t let him move any further away from home than Nashville, so he moved to Music City in 1990. He remains grateful for their concern to this day.