Paul Anka signs autographs for fans in his hometown of Ottawa where he was performing for a CBC special, the Chateau Laurier Presents Paul Anka in 1965. (CBC Still Photo Collection/Roy Martin)
Paul Anka was born in Ottawa in 1941.By 12, he knew he wanted to be a performer and at 13, he was gigging in Ottawa with his group, the Bobbysoxers. Two years later, he was in Los Angeles trying to break into the music business. He had his first No. 1 hit in the United States at age 16 with Diana, a song about a slightly older object of affection.
Hear the woman Anka made famous with his hit song Diana talk about the singer's meteoric rise to fame:
By 1972, Anka - who had fallen out of favour during the 1960s - was at the start of a career upswing. His song She's A Lady was a huge hit for fellow singer Tom Jones, and his own Do I Love You was on the charts a few months earlier. He would have another success in 1974 with (You're) Having My Baby.
But stung by a poor review in 1981, Anka swore off performing in his hometown of Ottawa for over 20 years. He later became an investor in the Ottawa Senators hockey franchise in 1991, but the deal fell apart.
In 2005, Anka released Rock Swings, a compilation of his jazzy arrangements of chart-topping songs from the 1980s and '90s. Among them were covers of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit and Bon Jovi's It's My Life.
Over his career, Anka has sold over 51 million records around the globe. He released 125 albums and penned more than 900 songs - 130 of them for the most accomplished and well-known artists in music.
Throughout his career, he has worked with the CBC on various productions - from 1965's Chateau Laurier Presents Paul Anka to Paul Anka: RSVP in 2003.