Paul Anka, born July 30, 1941, in Ottawa, Canada, is a singer, songwriter and performer whose songs became hits for singers Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra and others. His first song, “Diana,” became the No. 1 song in the world, selling more than 20 million copies when Anka was just 16 years old.
Anka came to Los Angeles, California, at the age of 15, with the goal of becoming a famous singer. One year later, he decided to try to launch his career in New York, which is where he met Don Costa, an executive for ABC/Paramount Records. Costa signed Anka up on the label and soon after released “Diana,” making Anka a teen heartthrob. Anka followed up his first hit record with “Put Your Head On My Shoulder” and “Lonely Boy.”
When musical interests shifted toward rock-and-roll, Anka reinvented himself, becoming a songwriter and going on to write the theme song for “The Tonight Show,” a song which earned him up to $900,000 in royalties per year. He wrote “She’s a Lady” for Tom Jones, which became Jones’ biggest hit. He also wrote “My Way” for Frank Sinatra. Over his lifetime, Anka wrote around 900 songs, with hits that spanned the Top 50 over the course of five decades.
Anka married Puerto Rican model Anne de Zogheb in 1963. The pair had five daughters and were together for 37 years prior to divorcing. After the divorce, Anka married and had a son with Swedish model and actress Anna Aberg.