Paul Albert Anka is a Canadian singer, songwriter and actor of Lebanese descent and an American citizen. He is a protégé of Frederick Karam and Winnifred Rees.
Anka is a father of six. Here are 13 more things about him:
- He was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 1941 to Andrew Emile “Andy” Anka Sr. and Camelia Tannis Anka, who are both Lebanese Christian. Andrew hails from Syria while Camelia is from Lebanon.
- When he attended the Fisher Park High School in Ottawa, he was part of a vocal trio called the Bobby Soxers.
- In 1955, he recorded his first single titled “I Confess.” In 1956, he used the $100 he received from an uncle to go to New York City, United States where he auditioned for Don Costa at ABC.
- In 1958, ABC Paramount released his eponymous debut album, which has 14 songs including “Diana,” “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart.” In the same year, he appeared as himself in the rock and roll film “Let’s Rock.”
- He played an army private in “The Longest Day,” which was released in 1962. It marked his first acting role in a major film. While in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the same year, he met Lebanese diplomat Charles de Zogheb‘s daughter Anne de Zogheb. They got married on February 16, 1963 and divorced in 2001. They have five daughters namely Amelia Anka, Anthea Anka, Alicia Anka, Amanda Anka and Alexandra Anka.
- He rewrote the 1967 French song “Comme d’habitude” by Claude François, which became the 1969 song “My Way” by Frank Sinatra. He co-wrote with David Dalton his autobiography titled “My Way,” which was published in 2013.
- In 1972, a street in Otawa was named Paul Anka Drive. In the same year, he released his 13th album titled “Jubilation.” In 1978, he opened a restaurant and club in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA named Jubilation.
- In 1981, the Ottawa City Council declared August 26 as the Paul Anka Day. In the same year, he released his 31st album titled “Both Sides of Love.” In 1982, he hosted “The Paul Anka Show.”
- On September 6, 1990, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
- In 1999, he hired Swedish-American model, actress and author Anna Åberg as his personal trainer. They got married in 2008 in Sardinia and divorced in 2010. Their son Ethan Anka was born on September 22, 2005.
- In 2011, he released his 38th album titled “Songs of December.” In 2012, he co-founded the holographic tech startup named ARHT Media.
- In October 2016, he married Lisa Pemberton.
- On May 20, 2020, while the world is still battling against the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, he shared a video of himself performing “My Way” on YouTube. He competed as Broccoli in “The Masked Singer” Season 4. He was unmasked in the ninth episode, which aired on Fox on November 26, 2020.
Categories: Asia, biographical data, Canada, Lebanon, LISTS, music, North America, Syria, United States
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