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Neil Sedaka Biography

Home > Music > S > Sedaka, Neil > Biography

Born: 1939/03/13
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Years Active: 1955–present
Genres: Pop

Neil Sedaka was born on March 13, 1939 and is a pop/rock singer, pianist, and composer. Sedaka's career has spanned over five decades, selling millions of records and collaborating with numerous artists. Sedaka was born in Brooklyn, New York, and developed an aptitude for music at a young age. By the age of eight, Sedaka was taking piano lessons and earned himself a scholarship to Juilliard School of Music's Preparatory Division for Children. By the time Sedaka was 13 he had discovered pop music and began playing music with his 16 year old neighbor, Howard Greenfield. Sedaka and Greenfield became a talented song-writing duo, with Sedaka going on to become a teen pop idol.

When The Beatles exploded on to the music scene, and the 'British Invasion' took the American charts hostage, Sedaka's popularity began to dwindle. By 1970, Sedaka had relocated to England to capitalize on the thriving music scene there. Sedaka found success during the 1970s in England, but returned to the U.S to continue writing with his old writing partner, Greenfield, until his death in 1986.

Sedaka's first band right out of high school, The Tokens, produced a number of hit singles, such as “While I Dream,” “I Love My Baby,” “Come Back, Joe” and “Don't Go.” The Tokens landed their biggest hit in 1961, with the #1 smash international smash hit, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” which led to a recal deal offer from RCA Victor for Sedaka. 1959 saw Sedaka score another massive international hit with “Oh! Carol,” which peaked at #9 on the Hot 100 Chart, and #1 on the Italian Pop Chart.

The success of “Oh Carol” established Sedaka as a pop idol and paved the way for a string of hits from 1960 to 1962. Sedaka also put out four studio albums with RCA during this period, in addition to scoring another #1 hit with “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.” 1964 saw the beginning of a sharp decline in Sedaka's career as The Beatles' arrived in the U.S. Despite this decline in Sedaka's popularity, he was able to continue writing songs for other artists, such as The Monkees, Patti Drew, and Frankie Valli. Sedaka went on to maintain a steady, moderate level of success in the U.K. for the next thirty years, releasing over sixty albums worth of material. Sedaka's most current album is “The Real Neil,” which arrived in 2012.