The song "Diana" brought Ottawa native Paul Anka stardom in 1957 as it rocketed to #1 on the Canadian and U.S. music charts. "Diana" is one of the best selling singles ever by a Canadian recording artist.


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Paul Anka turned a crush on an older girl into his breakthrough hit. He was just 15 years old when he wrote "Diana" about his unrequited love for Diana Ayoub, who was five years older. "She was a little out of my league," Anka said. "She really didn't want anything to do with me, which made it even worse."

Ayoub and Anka didn't cross paths all that often; he would see her at church and some other functions, and she would sometimes babysit his younger brother and sister.

The crush didn't go anywhere, but the song did. It hit #1 in the US and UK, launching his career. Anka and his family moved from Ottawa, Canada to New Jersey, where they set up a publishing and management operation to support his career. Anka became one of the biggest hitmakers of the pre-Beatles rock era, and enjoyed a career revival in the '70s with another string of hits, including the #1 "(You're) Having My Baby."

Anka was born on July 30, 1941, to Andy and Camelia Anka in Ottawa, Ontario, where they owned a restaurant called the Locanda. His parents are both of Greek Orthodox Lebanese descent. He sang with the St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Church choir under the direction of Frederick Karam, with whom he studied music theory. He studied piano with Winnifred Rees. He attended Fisher Park High School, where he was part of a vocal trio called the Bobby Soxers. (Wikipedia)

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