Beginning his career by entering amateur contests and sneaking into clubs, Paul Anka has gone on to become one of the most prolific and successful songwriters in history. Raised in Ottawa, Paul Anka developed a talent for songwriting through school courses in English and Journalism. Paul originally thought he'd pursue journalism as a career even though he had written songs from a very early age. When he was thrown out of a shorthand class, Anka opted to take music instead.
After winning a contest collecting soup lables, Paul Anka found himself the recipient of a grand prize trip to New York. Sleeping in a hotel bathtub of some fellow musicians, with his songs in hand, he obtained a meeting with Don Costa, an A & R man for ABC Paramount. He played his songs and instantly impressed the seasoned Costa. Shortly thereafter, due to Paul's young age, his parents were flown down and contracts were signed. In 1957, at the age of 16, Paul made his network debut on American Bandstand singing his song, "Diana". Less than four weeks after that appearance, "Diana" would be the Number 1 song on Billboard's charts.
Before he turned 18, he had five Top-20 hits and was a household name. By the late '50s, Paul Anka had established himself as a prolific and successful singer/songwriter, with numerous appearances on American Bandstand, The Perry Como Show and The Ed Sullivan Show. He had toured the United States, Europe and Australia with such notables as Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers and Jerry Lee Lewis.
In the wake of the British Invasion, the music of Paul Anka remained timely, ushering in such classics as "A Steel Guitar And A Glass Of Wine" and "Love Me Warm And Tender".
With well over 900 songs to his credit, his music has been performed by such greats as Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Tom Jones, Buddy Holly, Linda Ronstadt, The Sex Pistols, Nina Simone, Gypsy Kings, and Robbie Williams - to name a few. In addition, his compositions for other artists has helped catapult their careers: "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" for Buddy Holly, "She's a Lady" for Tom Jones, "Puppy Love" for Donny Osmond and "My Way" for Frank Sinatra. Anka has successfully collaborated with songwriters David Foster, Carol Bayer Sager, Richard Marx, Michael McDonald, Michael Jackson and many others.
Paul Anka also composed music for many memorable films, television programs and advertisements. When Johnny Carson made his debut as host of The Tonight Show in 1962, the Anka-written theme was there, too. Since the debut, the theme song has been performed over 1,400,000 times. In addition to writing the theme music for The Longest Day, for which Mr. Anka was nominated for an Academy Award, Mr. Anka penned the theme music and title song for the motion picture No Way Out starring Kevin Costner. His theme song for Louis Malle's Atlantic City took top honors at the Venice Film Festival. In 2002, a new Japanese television series, titled Golden Bowl, was created around his music, with each episode featuring eight different Paul Anka songs. His music has also been used in some of the biggest commercial campaigns for companies such as Ebay, AXA, Pet Smart and Mercedes Benz.
A man of many talents, Paul Anka has done his fair share of acting in front of the camera, appearing in 3000 Miles to Graceland, Mad Dog Time andThe Longest Day.
He is one of the few select artists in history to have a record in Billboard's Top 50 charts for six consecutive decades.