The native of Bangor, Maine, has a new album, his second, called "Stop All The World Now," which is fast approaching gold status. His new single, "Collide," is currently number 10 on the adult contemporary charts.
Day says "Stop All the World Now" is "a little bit of everything." His first album was all about relationships, so he wanted to do something a little different.
He says his mom bought a piano at an auction when he was 5, and he started copying TV commercials on it. She got him lessons when she realized he had potential.
Among his musical influences: The Beatles, Elton John, Jeff Buckley, and U-2.
Day usually plays solo, but added a band for this album.
He concedes he prefers being an opening act, because not as much is expected of performers in those roles. When you're a headliner, he notes, people pay to see mainly you and you have to come through.
At one point, he opened for Sting, and says he was awestruck when he glanced over while performing and saw the superstar.
VH-1 which, like CBSNews.com, is owned by Viacom, has this to say about him: "Like Patty Griffin before him, Howie Day emerged from the country quietude of Bangor, Maine, into Boston's coffeehouse scene and the world of folk music, proving his talent on his first release, 'Australia.'
"Singer-songwriters come a dime a dozen, but the truly eloquent ones are priceless, and like Griffin, Day found a place in that lineage.
"Born in 1981, Day started playing piano as a youngster and eventually took hold of a guitar when he was 14. By the next year, he had his first live gig at Captain Nick's. Within another two years, Day was touring full-time in support of his independently released debut.
"Citing the likes of Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, and Dave Matthews among his influences, Day incorporated these artists' defining characteristics into his style, while still striking out an original sound.
"Being without the resources of a major label's backing never hindered his touring schedule, as Day opened for everyone from the Wallflowers and Shawn Mullins to Remy Zero and David Gray.
"He issued the 'Australia' LP in 2000 through his own Daze imprint, and continued gigging relentlessly, both in Boston and beyond.
"The strong word of mouth found its way to Sony, who put Day on the payroll and re-released a slightly cleaned-up 'Australia' in June 2002. "Ghost" was a minor hit at modern rock radio, and the exposure only strengthened Day's college-age constituency. The Madrigals EP appeared in April 2003; it featured demo and live material and acted as a set-up for Day's official Sony bow.
"When 'Stop All the World Now' appeared that October, it was an ambitious, richly-produced record that revealed a newfound maturity in Day's voice and songwriting. In early 2004 he paired with Stereophonics for a round of European and American club dates."