About Paul Anka
Paul Albert Anka OC is a Canadian singer, songwriter and actor. Anka became famous with hit songs like "Diana", "Lonely Boy", "Put Your Head on My Shoulder", and " Having My Baby". He wrote such well-known music as the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and one of Tom Jones's biggest hits, "She's a Lady". He also wrote the English lyrics to Claude François and Jacques Revaux's music for Frank Sinatra's signature song, "My Way", which has been recorded by many, including Elvis Presley.
In 1983, he co-wrote the song "I Never Heard" with Michael Jackson. It was retitled and released in 2009, under the name "This Is It". An additional song that Jackson co-wrote with Anka from the 1983 session, "Love Never Felt So Good", was released in 2014 on Jackson's posthumous album Xscape. The song was also released by Johnny Mathis in 1984.
Anka became a naturalized US citizen in 1990.
Anka was born in Ottawa, Canada, to Camelia and Andrew Emile "Andy" Anka Sr., who owned a restaurant called the Locanda. His parents were both Antiochian Orthodox Christians. Anka's father was Syrian-Canadian from 'Uyūn al-Wādī, Syria, from the Na'Nou' family and his mother was Lebanese-Canadian "from the town of Kfar Mechki , Rashaya District, in Lebanon". She died when he was 18.
Anka sang with the St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral choir under the direction of Frederick Karam, with whom he studied music theory. He studied piano with Winnifred Rees. He attended Fisher Park High School, where he was part of a vocal trio called the Bobby Soxers.
Paul Anka recorded his first single, "I Confess", when he was 14. In 1957, with $100 given to him by his uncle, he went to New York City where he auditioned for Don Costa at ABC, singing what was widely believed to be a lovestruck verse he had written to a former babysitter. In an interview with NPR's Terry Gross in 2005, he stated that it was to a girl at his church whom he hardly knew. The song "Diana" brought Anka stardom as it went to No. 1 on the Canadian and US music charts. "Diana" is one of the best selling singles ever by a Canadian recording artist. He followed up with four songs that made it into the Top 20 in 1958, including "It's Time to Cry", which hit No. 4 and " My Heart Sings", which reached No. 15, making him one of the biggest teen idols of the time. He toured Britain, then Australia with Buddy Holly. Anka also wrote "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" – a song written for Holly, which Holly recorded just before he died in 1959. Anka stated shortly afterward:
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