Artist Details

Paul Anka

One of the biggest teen idols of the late '50s, Paul Anka moved to the adult sphere several years later and became a successful performer, songwriter, music businessman, and recording artist, remaining so well into the new millennium. Born in Ottawa, Ontario, in 1941 to parents of Lebanese Christian descent who owned a local restaurant, Anka proved a child prodigy, beginning his show business life at the age of 12 as an impressionist. By the age of 14, he was stealing the family car to drive to amateur singing contests in nearby Hull, Quebec, and writing his own songs. His first single, "I Confess," appeared on the Riviera subsidiary of Jules and Joe Bihari's RPM label. While on a trip to New York with a group of friends who sang as the Rover Boys, Anka gained an audition with ABC producer Don Costa, and sang his own composition, "Diana," an ode to a former babysitter. Costa liked what he heard, recorded the teenager, and watched as the single hit number one on both sides of the Atlantic later in 1957, eventually selling a reported ten million copies worldwide.