Tuesday, 30 July 2013
Paul Anka born 30 July 1941
Paul Albert Anka, OC (born July 30, 1941) is a Canadian singer, songwriter and actor. Anka became famous in the late 1950s and 1960s with hit songs like "Diana", "Lonely Boy", and "Put Your Head on My Shoulder". He went on to write such well-known music as the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and one of Tom Jones' biggest hits, "She's a Lady", and the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra's signature song, "My Way" (originally French song "Comme d'habitude"). He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1990.
Anka was born to Andy and Camelia Ankain in Ottawa, Ontario, where they owned a restaurant called the Locanda. His parents are both of Greek Orthodox Lebanese descent. He sang with the St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Church choir under the direction of Frederick Karam, with whom he studied music theory. He studied piano with Winnifred Rees. Anka attended Fisher Park High School and Lisgar Collegiate Institute.
Anka recorded his first single, "I Confess," at age 14. In 1957, he went to New York City where he auditioned for Don Costa at ABC, singing a lovestruck verse he had written to a former babysitter. The song, "Diana", brought Anka instant stardom as it rocketed to number one on the charts "Diana" is one of the best selling 45s in music history. He followed up with four songs that made it into the Top 20 in 1958, making him, at 17, one of the biggest teen idols of the time. He toured Britain and then, with Buddy Holly, he toured Australia.
His talent went beyond singing, writing Buddy Holly's giant hit, "It Doesn't Matter Anymore," the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (reworked in 1962 from a song Anka wrote earlier called "Toot Sweet," which had been rewritten with lyrics and recorded by Annette Funicello in 1959 as "It's Really Love"), Tom Jones' biggest hit record, "She's A Lady", and the English lyrics for "My Way," Frank Sinatra's signature song and sung by many well known artists, including Greta Keller and Elvis Presley, for whom the words were very fitting.
In the 1960s, Anka would begin acting in motion pictures as well as writing songs for them, most notably the theme for the hit movie The Longest Day. From his movie work, he wrote and recorded his monster hit, "Lonely Boy". He then went on to become one of the first pop singers to perform at the Las Vegas casinos. Anka returns to Canada several times a year, regularly playing to sold out crowds at the Fallsview Casino in Niagara After more than ten years without a hit record, in 1974, he teamed up with Odia Coates to record the number 1 hit, "Having My Baby." They would record two more duets that both made it into the Top 10. In 1975, he wrote a jingle for Kodak called "The Times of Your Life". The jingle became so popular, he recorded it as a full song, and it became a hit a year later.
By the 1970s, Anka's career centered around adult contemporary and big-band standards, played regularly in Las Vegas. On September 6, 1990, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. He returned to his home town to buy a part of the Ottawa Senators hockey team. In 2005, his album Rock Swings, comprising big-band arrangements of contemporary standards, provided a mainstream comeback of sorts and saw Anka awarded a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto.
In 2006 he recorded in duet with 1960s Italian hitmaker Adriano Celentano a new cover of "Diana," with Italian lyrics by Celentano-Mogol and with singer/songwriter Alex Britti on the guitar. The song immediately reached #3 on the charts.
On October 12, 2009, Anka stated that Michael Jackson's new release titled "This Is It" was a collaborative effort between the two musicians, and that it was co-written by Anka in 1983. According to Anka, after recording the song, Jackson decided not to use it and the tune was then recorded and released by singer Sa-Fire. After Anka threatened to sue for credit and a share of royalties, the administrators of Jackson's estate granted Anka 50% of the copyright. An additional song that Jackson co-wrote with Anka from this 1983 session, "Love Never Felt So Good", was discovered shortly thereafter and will be released in the near future. His album Songs of December charted at #58 in Canada in November 2011.
Anka was married to Anne de Zogheb, the daughter of Lebanese diplomat, Charles de Zogheb, from February 16, 1963, until September 28, 2000. They met in 1962 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she was a fashion model on assignment and under contract to the Eileen Ford Agency. Zogheb, brought up in Egypt, is of English, Lebanese, French, Dutch and Greek descent. The couple married the following year in a ceremony at Paris-Orly Airport. She quit modelling after their second child was born. They have five daughters: Amelia, Anthea, Alicia, Amanda (who is married to actor Jason Bateman) and Alexandra.
In 2008 Anka married his personal trainer, Anna Åberg, in Sardinia. They divorced in 2010 and share custody of their son, Ethan.(Info edited from Wikipedia)