(PRESS RELEASE) -- Paul Anka skyrocketed to fame in the late 1950s and 1960s with hit songs like "Diana", "Lonely Boy", and "Put Your Head on My Shoulder". He went on to write such well-known music as the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, one of Tom Jones' biggest hits, "She's a Lady", and the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra's signature song, "My Way". On Saturday, March 16th, the legendary performer will take the stage once again at Fantasy Springs and further solidify his status as a music icon.
Anka first achieved success in the 1950s as a teenage singing star who also wrote many of his own songs. Although he appeared in several films, his main interest was music and he concentrated his efforts into composing and making nightclub appearances in Las Vegas. Songwriting and performing "are what gave me the confidence to keep going," he says. Becoming a junior associate of Sinatra and the Rat Pack also had its privileges. By the '70s, the success of "My Way" and a string of hits like "(You're) Having My Baby" confirmed his iconic status. Since the inception of his career, Mr. Anka's songs (BMI Statics) have been performed well over 90 million times.
His later achievements as a recording artist included "Hold Me 'Til the Morning Comes," a hit duet with Peter Cetera in 1983, the Spanish-language album Amigos in 1996, and Body of Work, a 1998 duets album that featured Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion, Patti LaBelle, Tom Jones and daughter Anthea Anka. If this wasn’t enough, it was revealed upon its release in 2009, that Anka co-wrote Michael Jackson’s posthumous #1 worldwide hit, "This Is It," which has further cemented his place upon the most prolific and versatile songwriters of any generation. He has written for the motion picture, The Longest Day, For Darrell Zanuck, as well as Buddy Holly, and Barbara Streisand and recently received the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Anka's two most recent albums –- Rock Swings and now Classic Songs, My Way –- ingeniously featured songs originally created by some of the biggest rock performers of the day –- as well as other established artists across several genres.
The twist: Paul Anka did the songs 'his way.' His goal: "taking great songs and rework them so they're natural for me." With the help of his five daughters, Anka spent months researching music from the '80s and '90s, trying to find the songs that would work in the radical new context he proposed. The songs that made the cut included Bon Jovi's "It's My Life," Lionel Richie's "Hello" and Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven." Even more dramatic were his transformations of "Wonderwall" by Oasis, "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
Rock Swings went Top 10 in the UK, and was certified gold in the UK, France, and Canada, hit No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Jazz Albums chart and went on to sell half a million units worldwide.
Mr. Anka is the recipient the prestigious Chevalier De"L"Ordre Des Arts Et Des Letters, an honor presented to very few people. He was also awarded the Order of Canada. He has been named the 18th most successful artist in Billboard history, putting him alongside music greats, Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Throughout his career, his LP single sales number over 80 million.
Anka is currently working on a book and a duets album that are both set for release in April 2013.
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