Record producer/songwriter, Pete DeAngelis, was a frequent customer at the Kushners' family jewelry store, and Renay's parents arranged for her to audition for him. DeAngelis, impressed with her talents, got Renay signed to the Atco Recordslabel. Under the new stage name Diane Renay, she released her first single, "Little White Lies," in 1962, but it failed to chart nationally, as did the follow-up, "Tender," and Atco dropped her from the label.
However, Bob Crewe, who had written and produced material for Renay's second recording session, then signed her to a new recording contract whereby he would write and produce records for her. Under Crewe's guidance and signed to the 20th Century label, Renay, then seventeen years old, released her biggest hit, "Navy Blue," in late 1963. The song told the story of a girl who was lonely for her steady boyfriend while he was away from home in the U.S. Navy and could hardly wait to see him again. "Navy Blue," which was composed by Crewe with Bud Rehak and Eddie Rambeau, became a national smash, reaching number six on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1964, and soaring to number one on the Adult Contemporary singles chart. The song was followed by Renay's debut album, also titled Navy Blue.
Renay's only other single release to crack the national Billboard chart was "Kiss Me Sailor," which reached number 29 later in 1964. Subsequent singles, including "Growin' Up Too Fast," "Watch Out Sally," "It's In Your Hands," and "Happy Birthday Broken Heart," were hits in certain local markets such as Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Miami1, but failed to break nationally. Renay moved to the Fontana label in 1969 and attempted a comeback with covers of "Yesterday" and "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me," but these also failed to chart. She did not record again until the early 1980s.
She remains active as a performer today and recently released Diane Renay Sings Some Things Old and Some Things New, a double-CDcompilation album of her work (including many previously unreleased tracks) from the 1960s through the 1990s.