Donny Osmond biography
SynopsisPerformer Donny Osmond was born in Odgen, Utah on Dec. 9, 1957. He appeared on The Andy Williams Show five-years-old with his siblings in the Osmond Brothers. Due to a strong Mormon upbringing, Donny and his family had a clean cut image. He became
Singer, actor, television personality. Born Donald Clark Osmond on December 9, 1957, in Odgen, Utah. A natural entertainer, Donny Osmond began performing with his older brothers as part of the Osmond Brothers when he was a young child. Alan, Wayne, Merrill, and Jay Osmond had already been singing together for a few years before adding Donny to the group.
In 1962, the Osmond Brothers appeared on The Andy Williams Show, which introduced the singing group to a national audience. They became regular guests on the show, and Donny first joined his brothers on the program when he was five. Initially the group sang barbershop quartet style harmonies on religious material, but they later incorporated more popular material into their act. Dedicated to their Mormon faith, the Osmond Brothers were known for their squeaky clean image.
Like Michael Jackson of The Jackson 5, Donny Osmond became the standout performer in the group. He served as the lead vocalist on many of the group's tracks, including their first big hit, "One Bad Apple," which spent five weeks at the top of the pop charts in 1971. Then billing themselves as the Osmonds, they had several more hits with "Down by the Lazy River" and "Crazy River." For much of the early 1970s, the group developed an enthusiastic teenage fan base with some calling it "Osmondmania" after the earlier frenzy over the Beatles known as Beatlemania.Also pursuing a solo career, Donny had a pop hit with "Go Away Little Girl" in 1971. He recorded several albums on his own, which spawned such commercially successful songs as "Too Young" and "Puppy Love," a cover of the popular Paul Anka hit. Continuing to perform and record with his family as well, Donny and the Osmonds scored their last big hit in 1974 with "Love Me for a Reason."
Around this time, Donny began performing with his younger sister Marie. The duo had two hits, "Morning Side of the Mountain" and "I'm Leaving It All Up to You" in 1974. A wholesome and photogenic pair, they were featured in their own television special in 1975, which proved to be quite popular with viewers. This led to the siblings getting their own variety show the following year.
Debuting in January 1976, Donny and Marie was a hour-long program filled with songs and skits. Donny was "a little bit rock and roll" while Marie was "a little bit country," according to the lyrics of their theme song. A little bit rock and roll seemed to be apt description for him. He went out of his way to maintain his wholesome image and to be true to his religious values. Even the lyrics of songs were changed to avoid mentioning things that were forbidden in his religion, such as alcohol." There are so many really beautiful songs with obscene lyrics...in one song, where the line was 'wine and whiskey,' we substituted 'milk' and arranged for the band to do a double-take," Donny Osmond explained to People magazine in 1977.
Donny and Marie had many guest stars, including comedian Paul Lynde, Andy Williams, Kris Kristofferson, and Andy Gibb. Most of all, the show featured the much of the Osmond family from younger brother Jimmy to the original members of the Osmond BrothersAlan, Wayne, Merrill, and Jay. After its first season, the show was moved to its production to a studio facility the Osmond family had built in their hometown of Orem, Utah.
In 1978, Donny and Marie also starred in their own feature film Goin' Coconuts, which incorporated a lot of singing and joking around—just like their variety show. It failed to impress critics or movie audiences. That same year, Osmond married his girlfriend Debbie at the Salt Lake City Temple. The two had dated in secret to protect her from all media attention—but that attention was beginning to wane.
Soon television audiences tired of the squeaky clean brother-sister act and their renditions of older, more family friendly songs. Disco and more urban styles of music were all the rage, making the Osmonds seem completely out of step with the times. The show—then known as The Osmond Family Hour—left the air in May 1979.
After the show was cancelled, Osmond floundered professionally for many years. He was, as he has written on his website, "uncool to the max, a prisoner of my teenybopper past." In 1982, Osmond made his Broadway debut in Little Johnny Jones, but this musical revival quickly closed. It was not until the late 1980s that Osmond was able to revive his music career with some help from an unlikely source—Peter Gabriel. At the time, Gabriel was enjoying great reviews as well as achieving chart success with his innovative rock music. He allowed Osmond to use his recording studio in Bath, England, where Osmond recorded his comeback single.
Released in 1989, "Soldier of Love" reached the number two slot on the Billboard pop charts. The following up single, "Sacred Emotion" also did well, climbing as high as number 13 on the charts. Osmond had updated his image somewhat, trying to appear a little tougher by wearing a leather jacket and a few days' worth of stubble.
In 1998, Osmond returned to television, again partnering with his sister, to co-host a daytime talk show, which ran for two seasons. The following year, he added best-selling author to his list of accomplishments with the publication of Life Is Just What You Make It: My Life So Far. Osmond then became a game show host for Pyramid, a new version of the popular classic, The $25,000 Pyramid, in 2001.
The 2003's release of the Osmonds greatest hits collection led to the Osmond brothers returning to the pop charts in the United Kingdom. Spurred on by the album's success, the brothers later regrouped and did a UK tour. That same year, Donny and other members of the Osmond family received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
Osmond has continued performing with his brothers and as a solo act. In 2006, he returned to Broadway to appear as Gaston in the musical Beauty and the Beast. Osmond has recently reunited with Marie to handle the hosting duties for the 2008 Miss USA competition and for the reality show America's Favorite Mom. The two also signed a deal for an extended engagement at Las Vegas's Flamingo Resort, which begins in September.
Osmond lives in Utah with his wife Debbie. The couple has five sons: Don, Brandon, Jeremy, Christopher, and Joshua.