Anka began singing as a child and, encouraged by his parents, at age 14 he recorded his first single, "I Confess." In 1957 he went to New York city where he auditioned for ABC, singing a lovestruck verse he had written to a former babysitter, Diana Ayoub. 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 one of the biggest teen idols of the time. He toured Britain and then, with Buddy Holly, toured Australia.
His talent went beyond singing, writing Buddy Holly's giant hit, "It Doesn't Matter Anymore," the theme for Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show," Tom Jones' biggest hit record, "She's A Lady", and "My Way," Frank Sinatra's signature song.
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.
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.
By the 1970s, Anka's career centered around adult contemporary and big-band standards, played regularly in Las Vegas. Now, a citizen of the United States living in California, in 1991, he returned to his home town to buy a part of the Ottawa Senators hockey team.
Born to parents of Lebanese origin, in 1999 he returned to Lebanon for sell-out performances at the Forum de Beyrouth (The Beirut Forum).
Paul Anka was elected to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1980. He has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6840 Hollywood Blvd.