Despite his age, Neil Sedaka, 84, looks amazing.

Neil Sedaka, who has been married to the love of his life for nearly 61 years, has little experience to draw on when he declares, “Breaking Up is Hard to Do.”

The endearing “down doobie do down down” singer recently celebrated his 84th birthday, is smitten with his grandchildren, and claims to have been “born married to his wife.”

Who doesn’t love Neil Sedaka? The incredible vocalist has given us so much throughout the years, thrilling us with his voice and presence.

Neil Sedaka, a natural talent who has written and sung some of music’s most famous melodies, once said that he was hesitant to sing in public when he was younger.

“I knew I had a fantastic voice,” Sedaka admitted, “but I was ashamed because it was so high. The rabbi, on the other hand, was in tears as I sang at my bar mitzvah.”

The classically trained pianist, who was only 13 years old at the time and attended the Julliard Preparatory for Children on a Saturday scholarship program, collaborated with Howard Greenfield, then 16, and the two of them wrote songs for Sedaka’s school band, the Linc-Tones, which later changed its name to the Tokens.

While working out of New York’s legendary Brill Building, the two went on to create top-charting hits such as Sedaka’s “Breaking up is Hard to Do,” Captain & Tenille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together,” and Connie Francis’ “Stupid Cupid.”

“Our cell had no windows, but it did have a piano and a bench.” You could only obtain a room with a window when you had a big song, Sedaka stated, adding that the two were earning $50 per week. Every day from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., we would write and perform for record label representatives. Although difficult, it was wonderful training.

His renowned song “Oh! Carol” (1959), inspired by his high school lover Carole King, was the first to hit the Top 10 in the building. He was also the first to record his compositions.

Greenfield and Sedaka collaborated until the middle of the 1970s. Greenfield, an out gay male, died of AIDS-related complications in 1986.

Meanwhile, Sedaka left The Tokens at the age of 19, just as the group achieved its peak with “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “Tonight I Fell in Love” in 1961.

His first three solo albums did not perform well, but one song landed him an appearance on American Bandstand with Dick Clark, and he soon signed a recording contract.

Sedaka’s first big hit was “The Diary,” which he wrote because he sincerely wanted to “look into that little book.” It peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1958. It was inspired by Connie Francis’ diaries. Sedaka’s success peaked in 1960 when he released “Calendar Girl,” his sixth hit in two years.

He married Leba Strassberg in 1962, after meeting at the now-defunct Esther Manor resort in New York’s Catskill Mountains.

Esther, Leba’s mother, was a co-owner of the resort and a businesswoman who didn’t like seeing her daughter courted by a lowly musician.

Despite Esther’s disapproval, the couple remained in their relationship while dealing with Eleanor Sedaka, another intrusive mother.

Eleanor admits to riding roller coasters while expecting him to induce miscarriage. She also pushed her child to pursue a career as a classical pianist rather than as a pop singer.

“My father was a taxi driver who never made more than $10,000 a year,” Sedaka explained, adding that he made the error of giving the money to his mother, who ultimately controlled the majority of his rights as a musician, including royalties and cash. “She quickly changed her mind when I received a royalty check for $62,000 for ‘Stupid Cupid.'”

“Following the initial shock, I learned about and accepted him through my father.” I even understood it in some ways. My father was economical, whereas the other man lavished her with gold and furs and whisked her away to exotic locations, and my parents shared two rooms with nine other family members. He said that only they were living the good life with my money. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars. I couldn’t pay anything, not even my taxes. My wife and I had to start from zero.”

Sedaka expelled his mother’s boyfriend and said Eleanor nearly overdosed on sleeping pills “because she couldn’t stand to see her son and her lover at odds.” She said she was unaware they were using my money. For a full year, I didn’t speak to her.

At that point, his faithful wife took over as his new manager.

Sedaka’s career was about to take off when The Beatles arrived and ruined everything.

He continued to write songs for others, but his declining chart success in the U.S. prompted him to relocate Leba and their kids, Dara and Marc, to London, the capital of hit creators.

“Well, I used to walk down the street, and people would ask, ‘Didn’t you used to be Neil Sedaka?'” Sedaka said about his decline in popularity. I responded, “Well, you haven’t heard the last of me. I’m still Neil Sedaka. I had to alter my approach. I first met Elton John in the beginning of the 1970s. Have you heard of him?

Sedaka, who met the “I’m Still Standing” singer at a party in London, claimed he was urged to sign with the Rocket Record Company, John’s previous record label.

And, as the album’s title suggests, Sedaka’s career soared with the release of “Sedaka’s Back” in 1974, the first of three albums he recorded with Elton John, and the singer was once more having success on the American charts.

After being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1983, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He was a guest judge on American Idol in 2003 when season two runner-up Clay Aiken later recorded and released “Solitaire,” a song by Neil Sedaka from 1972, which became the best-selling single of the following year.

Sedaka began posting tiny concerts on social media during COVID to keep fans entertained, and last September, in honor of his 60th wedding anniversary with Leba, he released a unique concert that included three songs he wrote specifically for her.

“I’d like to dedicate today’s mini-concert to my beautiful wife, Leba,” the touching ode begins. We will commemorate our 60th Anniversary in September. Here are three tracks that were created particularly for Leba.

Sedaka announced his affiliation with Cameo in a video he shared on Facebook at the beginning of May. He said he was excited to accept requests for birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special occasion where he could give a personalized message.

With a few bars of “Breaking Up is Hard to Do,” he closed the brief piece, earning acclaim from his audience. One person commented, “I’ve loved your music since I was a teenager, and I’m 75 now. Do not stop, please.

Another admirer sent Neil a heartfelt note that many people can identify with: “Dear Neil, your songs lighten the day. I frequently catch myself singing the melodies you composed. They seem to have merged with me. I appreciate the happiness you bring to the world.”

Sedaka continues to make people smile with his music, but his main priorities are his wife and family.

“If you’re fortunate enough to have a friend who takes care of it for you, that’s a wonderful gift,” according to Sedaka, a loving grandfather of three children, including a pair of twins.

Regarding their children, Marc (born 1967) is a writer and editor for TV and cinema, and Dara (born 1963) is an actress and singer renowned for films like Where the Boys Are.

Sedaka commented about his flourishing career, “I could have been bigger, but I wasn’t controversial enough. I avoided drug use and wrecking balls. There were no controversies in my personal life.You cannot say I didn’t achieve fame because I had talent and a hunger for it.

The fact that Neil Sedaka and Leba have been together for such a long time and haven’t let celebrity ruin their happy marriage is very admirable.

He is a truly gifted musician whose work will undoubtedly impact future generations. We appreciate you giving us a glimpse into your life and music. Which of his songs, whether he wrote or performed them, is your favorite?


Similar articles