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

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.

Paul Anka through the years
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Paul Anka through the years
Canadian singer and composer Paul Anka extemporizes some chords on a guitar, with a music paper in front of him. January 1962. (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio by Getty Images)
Canadian singer and composer Paul Anka, wearing an elegant dress of the time, performs a song on the stage; all around him, musicians and members of the staff carefully listen to him. (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio by Getty Images)
(Original Caption) A talented youth who's making a name for himself in the recording world, 16-year-old Paul Anka, born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, is both a singer and a composer of songs. His first recording on a major label, a song called Diana which he wrote himself, has zoomed the youth to stardom. Diana has already sold over four million copies and young Anka is riding the crest of popularity. This photo shows a typical day in the life of the young singer.
Canadian singer and composer Paul Anka sits beside French actress Irina Demich, born Irina Dziemiach, during filming of The Longest Day. 1962. (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio by Getty Images)
Sixteen year old Canadian singer songwriter Paul Anka pictured on his arrival in Britain. 8th December 1957. (Photo by Sunday Pictorial/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
1957: Sixteen year old Paul Anka holding a sheet of music. A fifties teen idol and composer of the mega-hit 'Diana', he went on to long-term success. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: (AUSTRALIA OUT) Photo of Paul ANKA; Posed portrait of Paul Anka (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Paul ANKA; Paul Anka performing on stage (Photo by Richi Howell/Redferns)
COKE TIME - Airdate June 11, 1960. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) PAUL ANKA
Canadian singer songwriter Paul Anka pictured in his suite at the Savoy Hotel in London during his visit to Britain. 20th January 1959. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Paul Anka (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Paul Anka (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Half-length portrait of Canadian singer and composer Paul Anka; he was only 16 when he gained popularity thanks to the song Diana. 1968. (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio by Getty Images)
Paul Anka et son �ouse, Sylvie Vartan et Johnny Hallyday dans les coulisses de l'Olympia avant la premi�e du chanteur canado-am�icain, �Paris, France, en septembre 1963 . (Photo by REPORTERS ASSOCIES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) New York, New York: Paul Anka and wife arrive at the Rivoli Theater for premier of Cleopatra.
23rd January 1965: Teen idol of the 50's, Canadian born singer-songwriter Paul Anka. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - NOVEMBER 14: Singer Paul Anka attending the premiere party for 'Tony Rome' on November 14, 1967 at El Toledo Restaurant in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
THE JOHN DAVIDSON SHOW - Airdate: August 17, 1969. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) PAUL ANKA
NEW YORK CITY - NOVEMBER 5: Singer Paul Anka and wife Anne DeZogheb attending 'Legends Fashion Show' on November 5, 1974 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
CANADA - AUGUST 28: Paul Anka and Odia Coates, an Anka protege, attracted 21,800 people to CNE Grandstand last night for a show that Star critic Peter Goddard says was different from Anka's Las Vegas-style act. This time he was more of a rocker. (Photo by Jeff Goode/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) Anka, Paul (*30.07.1941-), Musiker, Kanada, - Halbportrait, singt, - 1977 (Photo by Estorff / ullstein bild via Getty Images)
CANADA - AUGUST 03: Paul Anka up to 1979 (Photo by Graham Bezant/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
'Mireille Mathieu, Paul Anka, TV-Show ca. 1979 in Deutschland. (Photo by Peter Bischoff/Getty Images)'
Portrait of Canadian American pop musician Paul Anka as he poses at the Westbury Music Fair, Westbury, New York, March 20, 1981. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)
Le chanteur am�icain Paul Anka sur le plateau de l'�ission 'Cadence 3' �Paris, France, le 18 mai 1983. (Photo by Bertrand LAFORET/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Singer Paul Anka and wife Anne DeZogheb being photographed on October 26, 1987 at Knickerbocker Jazz Restaurant in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
(GERMANY OUT) Anka, Paul *30.07.1941-Musiker, Kanada- Portrait, laechelt- 1987 (Photo by Moos/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Singer Paul Anka being photographed on February 13, 1989 at Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 21: Actor Paul Anka, wife Anne DeZogheb and daughter being photographed on March 21, 1989 at Spago Restaurant in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Singer Paul Anka. (Photo by Time Life Pictures/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Paul Anka Bei Frankfurter Opernball (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images)
MONACO - AUGUST 07: Paul Anka and wife In Monaco on August 07, 1998. (Photo by Alain BENAINOUS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 5: Singer Paul Anka attending 11th Annual Billboard Music Awards on December 5, 2000 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Paul Anka & guest during 'Die Another Day' - Los Angeles Premiere at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
Paul Anka and guest during Giorgio Armani Receives First 'Rodeo Drive Walk Of Style' Award at Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage)
FRANCE - DECEMBER 01: Songwriter Paul Anka poses in the Ritz Hotel, in Paris France, Thursday, December 12, 2005. (Photo by Alastair Miller/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Paul Anka during Paul Anka Visits 'The Howard Stern Show' - June 8, 2005 at 'The Howard Stern Show' in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Derek Storm/FilmMagic)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 24: Photo of Paul ANKA; Posed portrait of Paul Anka (Photo by Paul Bergen/Redferns)
VINA DEL MAR, CHILE - FEBRUARY 22: Canadian singer Paul Anka performs during the opening of the 51th Vina Del Mar song festival on February 22, 2009 in Vina Del Mar, Chile. (Photo by Marcelo Hernandez/LatinContent/Getty Images)
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - DECEMBER 01: Paul Anka performs at the State Theater on December 1, 2011 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
Paul Anka attends the 'Gorby 80- Gala Concert' at Royal Albert Hall. (Photo by rune hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 14: Paul Anka attends the 2014 UNICEF ball presented by Baccarat at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on January 14, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/FilmMagic)
THOUSAND OAKS, CA - AUGUST 26: Paul Anka performs at Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza on August 26, 2017 in Thousand Oaks, California. (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)

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.

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