Anka was originally born in Ottawa to Orthodox Christian parents who owned a restaurant. Growing up, Anka sang with his Orthodox Church choir under Frederick Karam, who taught him musical theory. Over time, he began to pick up other musical talents, such as the piano, and he became a part of an amateur singing group at an early age. He recorded his first single when he was still a teenager, and he went to New York City to audition for ABC. Many believed that his song originated from an infatuation that Anka had with his babysitter, but he later confessed that the song was dedicated to a girl who went to his church.
"Diana" was the song that sent Paul Anka skyrocketing into his career, as the song shot straight to the number one spot in both American and Canadian charts. As he became more famous, he began to tour English-speaking countries with Buddy Holly. As he grew older, his music matured as well, and he began to focus on adult contemporary music by the end of the 1960s.
The theme song of "The Tonight Show" paid Anka between $800,000 and $900,000 in royalties during Johnny Carson's pinnacle of popularity. Paul Anka also wrote the English version of "My Way" for Frank Sinatra.Learn more about Art & Literature