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Paul Anka performing at Sands Casino in Bethlehem, talks with Philly2Philly

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Paul Anka is a successful performer and among the most influential Paul Anka performs at Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA Monday October, 11th.songwriters of our time. The musical icon burst onto the scene in 1957, with his first number one hit “Diana” and instantly became an international teen idol.

In addition to these accomplishments, he is also a prominent businessman in the music industry and an extremely sought-after and respected consultant.

“This is what I’m born to do,” the 69 year old told me from his California home, “You’re happy to be doing it because it’s what’s inside of you.”

A fixture in music history, Anka has penned countless hits, most notably “She’s a Lady” (Tom Jones), “It Doesn't Matter Anymore” (Buddy Holly), “Puppy Love” (Donny Osmond) and the English lyrics to Frank Sinatra’s signature song, “My Way.”

Born in Canada to parents of Lebanese Christian decent, Anka has certainly come a long way from his early years of stealing the family car and singing at amateur night contests to having sold close to 15 million albums worldwide. Among his Billboard chart stats in the U.S. are three #1 songs, “Diana,” “Lonely Boy,” and “You're Having My Baby,” as well as twenty two Top 20 hits.

Anka is about to embark on an international tour, kicking off at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on Monday, October 11th. Anka promises his show will please loyal fans, “It’s going to be an eclectic array of music from all the years, from the body of work it’s with my band we travel all together, there’s about 26 of us with everybody in our crew. It will touch on songs written for others, some video presentation, a lot of the oldies, stuff for Sinatra, Michael Jackson (“This Is It”) and the new one “Love Never Felt So Good.”

In 2009, when Michael Jackson's posthumous #1 worldwide hit, “This Is It” was released, it was revealed that the song originally titled, “I Never Heard” was co-written by Anka during a 1983 session. When the news broke, Anka said he felt as though he had finally received justice. “It was obviously a very meaningful moment actually, because I knew him (Michael Jackson) and his family for many years in Vegas and when he called, he was only 20 years old and wanted to come and write with me and be on the album I was doing at that time with Sony because I was already recording with Michael McDonald, The Doobie Brothers, Sa-Fire, a bunch of people, so he was the last artist in, he spent a lot of time with me. Once his album came out, obviously he got a little eccentric and that’s when he stole the tapes.”

It has been reported that administrators of Jackson's estate granted Anka fifty percent of the copyright to the song. Anka says during the 1983 session, the pair wrote three songs together. The second song recently discovered, “Love Never Felt So Good” is scheduled to be released in the near future. Anka says he never imagined in 1983 that he would one day be in this situation but is grateful to now receive the credit he deserves, “It was just a very unusual and emotional moment.”

Anka has recorded 125 albums and has an astonishing 900 songs to his credit—130 recorded by other artists including Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, and Robbie Williams. He even composed the theme to The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

With dozens of projects and requests from many popular artists to work with him, Anka says it’s important to stay true to yourself but to also stay current and evolve with the times, “You don’t want to quit a profession like this, when you’ve got a demand out there and an audience, that’s where you get your feedback and your motivation—you want to stay with that.”

Anka is currently working on a new album, but says his time is limited thanks to his many commitments.

“I’m working with other artists as I did with Michael Buble, I worked with David Foster, we found him and worked with him got him going, so I got two other artists one is a very edgy rock n’ roll artist, a girl which we’re working at Universal so I have commitments with that. I’m working with new material for mine. I’m working with a group called the Canadian Tenors up in Canada, another group from Italy, so my plate’s pretty full at this point.”

Fittingly, at this point in Anka’s career, he says he will continue to do it his way and plans on working for many years to come.

For more information about Paul Anka’s tour dates visit www.paulanka.com

For more information about the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA: www.pasands.com

Contact Veronica Dudo at vdudo@philly2philly.com