It Doesn’t Matter Anymore was released the following January. A month later, Holly died tragically at the age of 22, in a plane crash that also claimed the lives of fellow musicians J.P Richardson and Ritchie Valens. The artists were all in Clear Lake, Iowa for the Winter Dance Party show, which also included a performance by Anka. They finished their show at the Surf Ballroom and boarded a small aircraft chartered to take them to their next show in Fargo, North Dakota. The plane crashed a few minutes after take-off, killing everyone aboard. Divine intervention saved Anka from boarding the flight, as his manager Irvin Feld told him to stay behind because he had promised Anka’s father he would keep an eye on him.
Soon after Holly’s untimely death, It Doesn’t Matter Anymore became a hit, reaching #1 on the British charts and climbing to #13 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. “The success of ‘It Doesn’t Matter Anymore’ gave me a broader parameter of credibility as a writer,” Anka once stated.
The song has been covered by many artists, from Linda Ronstadt on her #1 album Heart Like A Wheel (1974) to the late Eva Cassidy on her 2002 album Imagine.