Phil Vassar

Preeminent country pianist Phil Vassar has scored only a pair of number-one singles as an artist: "Just Another Day in Paradise" and "In a Real Love." But the bleached-blond tunesmith — who favors T-shirts and faded jeans over traditional cowboy hats and boot-cut Wranglers and spent years perfecting his craft by playing shows in the Nashville bar that he now owns — boasts one of country's most impressive catalogues: As a songwriter, he's penned material for Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Jo Dee Messina, Collin Raye and even Engelbert Humperdinck. Vassar's music is anything but your old man's country. His gravelly vocals and pop-infused melodies come together with lyrics that draw from the common-man sensibilities of his working-class upbringing to form a genre-bending blend of pop, rock and country that is uniquely his own.

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