Paul Anka through the years: See the '60s heartthrob then and now

Jennifer Kline,

It was 1957 -- sixty years ago -- when a 16-year-old Paul Anka used an uncle's gift of $100 to travel to New York City. He auditioned for ABC's Dan Costa. By 1958, he was a star.

The sweet-faced, Canadian-born Anka immediately became one of the youngest and biggest heartthrobs of the late 1950s, and his popularity only grew in the following decade: In addition to his own records, Anka composed the theme for "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" and even wrote the lyrics to Frank Sinatra's classic number "My Way."

Much to the disappointment of his fans, Anka found love at a young age: It was 1962 when he met Anne de Zogheb, who he would wed in 1963. They have five daughters together, all of whom have names beginning with A -- so it's possible that the Kardashians stole their schtick from the Anka clan.

After nearly four decades together, Anka and Anne divorced. He would go on to briefly marry Swedish model Anna Aberg, with whom he has a son, before they split in 2010, and then he wed Lisa Pemerton in 2016. Quite a family! Check out this throwback photo of Anka with his five daughters and first wife in 1998:


Now 76, Anka last released an album in 2013 but continues to perform live. Earlier this year, he found himself in the headlines thanks to President Trump: After Trump's remarks about the Charlottesville violence, a number of charity event organizers opted to move planned fundraisers away from Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla. That included a scheduled performance by Anka in December.

Unfortunately, the schedule shuffling means that Anka is no longer able to perform because he already has a conflicting family vacation planned in Europe. Charity gala organizers asked if their initial deposit could instead go toward a performance for next year.

"I run a small business. I've got overhead. I've got people on salary," Anka told Page Six. "They're guilt-tripping me, asking me to take a hit, but we didn't cause the problem. They need to eat it. It's their problem."

See Paul Anka through the years in the gallery above.