This song was co-written by The-Dream, who also wrote Holiday's breakthrough single "Bed" and Rihanna's international hit "Umbrella."
The video for this song, which was shot in Paris, was a sequel to Holiday's "Bed" video, with the same director Jonathon Mannion and co-star model Jennifer Gordon. Holiday told the Washington Post November 23, 2007 about doing a continuation of the previous video: "It's definitely a story. We're trying to make sure it's relatable, something that goes in a definite direction. We want to make it feel and seem like it's something that's happening in real life."
"Piano Man" was inspired by Billy Joel's time playing at a piano bar in Los Angeles. The "real estate novelist" was a guy who always talked about writing a book, but spent all his spare time in the bar.