Paul Anka

Paul Anka Photo

Renowned singer and songwriter, Paul Albert Anka was born on July 30, 1941 in Ottawa, Ontario to Andrew and Camelia Anka who were the owners of a restaurant named, Locanda. The restaurant attracted number of artists and politicians with whom Anka used to interact. Even when he was a little boy, Anka aspired to be a famous personality.

His first song, “I confess” was recorded when he was only 14. Following that year, he left for New York to get a break in the music industry. His father had given him only a year to try his luck after which he had to return back if things didn’t work out. Soon after arriving in New York, Anka managed to impress Don Costa who worked at the ABC/Paramount Records and a contract was soon signed.

His first song, “Diana”, which was written for a girl on whom Anka had a crush on; sold more than 20 million copies and reached number one in both Canadian and American charts. It also proved to be the best selling song ever made by a Canadian musician. Following, “Diana”, Anka released four more singles, including, “It’s Time To Cry” and “My Heart Sings”, all of which earned spots in Top 20 songs of that time. Though he was only 17 at the time, Anka became one of the biggest teen idols touring all over Britain and Australia. Paul Anka’s other musical accomplishments include composing Tom Jone’s, “She’s a Lady” and writing lyrics for Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”.

Anka decided to step in the acting industry in 1950s and 1960s along with writing songs for movies. He appeared in the movie, “The Longest Day” and wrote its theme song which was a phenomenal success. He was also behind the song, “Home Town” which earned a spot at number 8 on the music charts. He also appeared in movies like, “Girls Town” in 1959 and “Look in Any Window” in 1961. Unfortunately his music career dimmed a little in late 1960s when teenagers mostly turned towards the Beatles and Rolling Stones. During this time, he turned towards song writing and became a regular performer in Las Vegas. He got back in the spotlight in 1974 when upon teaming up with Odia Coates; he recorded “You’re Having My Baby” which became an instant hit, earning a spot at number 1 in music charts. The duo made several other songs which were equally successful, including, “I Don’t Like To Sleep Alone” and “One Man Woman” amongst others.

In 1975 Anka composed a jingle for Kodak called; “Times Of Your Life” which became so popular that it was made into a song. He finally decided that the time had come to make his comeback in the music industry and released his album, “A Body Of Work” in 1998 which a colossal success and even earned him a spot in Canada’s Walk of Fame. The album included the work of Celine Dion, Skyler Jett and Kenny G. In 2009, Anka announced that Michael Jackson’s, “This Is It” was actually the combined work of Jackson and Anka and after threatening to sue, Anka was granted half of the copyrights for the song. In 2011, his album “Songs of December” earned a spot at number 58 in the charts.

In his personal life, he has been married twice and has 6 children. Paul Anka also has the honor of having a street named after him called, “Paul Anka Drive” in Ottawa. He published his autobiography titled “My Way” in 2013.

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