Donald Clark Osmond was born on December 9th, 1957. He is an American singer, musician, actor, dancer, radio personality, and former teen idol. Osmond has also been a talk and game show host, record producer and author. In the mid-1960s, he and four of his elder brothers gained fame as The Osmonds on the long running variety program, The Andy Williams Show. Donny went solo in the early 1970s covering such hits as "Go Away Little Girl" and "Puppy Love".
For over thirty-five years, he and younger sister Marie have gained fame as Donny & Marie, partly due to the success of their 1976–79 self-titled variety series, which aired on ABC. The duo also did a 1998–2000 talk show and have been headlining in Las Vegas since 2008. Between a highly successful teen career in the 1970s, and his rebirth in the 1990s, Osmond's career was stymied during the 1980s by what some have perceived as his "boy scout" image. Osmond stated on the May 1, 2009 Larry King Live show that longtime friend Michael Jackson suggested he change his name to boost his image. Osmond's agent even suggested that spreading false rumors about drug arrest charges might recharge his career. Osmond felt such allegations would have familial ramifications, and couldn't reconcile how lying to create a nefarious drug image could be explained to his children, nieces and nephews. In 1989, Osmond had two big-selling recordings, the first of which, "Soldier of Love", was initially credited to a "mystery artist" by some radio stations.
Starting in July 1992, Osmond played Joseph at the Elgin Theatre's Toronto production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The musical then toured North America until 1998. Creator Andrew Lloyd Webber, impressed by Osmond's talents and the show's successful six-year run, chose him for the 1999 film version.
In 2009, Osmond won the ninth season of Dancing with the Stars. Donny was born in Ogden, Utah, the seventh son of Olive May Osmond (née Davis) and George Virl Osmond. He is the brother of Alan, Jay, Jimmy, Merrill, Wayne, Marie, Tom, and Virl Osmond. Alan, Jay, Merrill, Wayne, and Donny were members of the popular singing group The Osmonds (also known as The Osmond Brothers which later included tracks with youngest brother Jimmy as well). Donny was raised as a Mormon in Utah along with his siblings. Osmond later traced his family ancestry back to Merthyr Tydfil in Wales; his journey was documented in a BBC Wales program, Donny Osmond Coming Home. On the BBC's The One Show a plaque was unveiled in the town commemorating 'the ancestors of Donny Osmond'.
The father of Andy Williams, Wendell, saw the Osmond Brothers (Alan, Wayne, Merrill and Jay) perform on a Disneyland televised special as a barbershop quartet. In short order, the group was invited to audition for The Andy Williams Show. Williams initially had reservations about featuring children on the program, however, encouraged by his father to try them out, they proved in a short period of time to become an asset to the program, and soon became regulars on the show and gained popularity quickly. Donny made his debut on the show at the age of 5 singing "You Are My Sunshine". The brothers continued to perform on the show throughout the 1960s along with a few visits from their sister Marie. In the early 1970s, the Osmonds, via recording and virtually constant touring, sold over 80 million records in a single 12-month period, making them the most successful, and fatigued, of the early Seventies touring groups.
Donny became a teen idol in the early 1970s as a solo singer, while continuing to sing with his older brothers. He, Bobby Sherman, and David Cassidy were the biggest "Cover Boy" pop stars for Tiger Beat magazine in the early 1970s. His first solo hit was a cover of Roy Orbison's 1958 recording of "Sweet and Innocent", which peaked at No. 7 in the U.S. in 1971. Donny's follow-ups "Go Away Little Girl" (1971) (U.S. #1), "Puppy Love" (U.S. #3), and "Hey Girl/I Knew You When" (U.S. #9) (1972) vaulted him into international fame, further advanced by his 20 November 1972 appearance on the Here's Lucy show, where he sang "Too Young" to Lucille Ball's niece, played by Eve Plumb, and sang with Lucie Arnaz ("I'll Never Fall in Love Again").
In the 1980s, Osmond re-invented himself as a solo vocal artist and abandoned the earlier television show image crafted to appeal to young viewers. He made an unlikely appearance as one of several celebrities and unknowns auditioning to sing for guitarist Jeff Beck in the video for Beck's 1985 single "Ambitious", followed in 1986 by an equally unlikely cameo in the animated Luis Cardenas music video "Runaway". He spent several years as a performer, before hiring the services of music and entertainment guru Steven Machat, who got Osmond together with Peter Gabriel to see whether Machat and Gabriel could turn the TV Osmond's image into a contemporary young pop act. They succeeded, returning Osmond to the US charts in 1989 with the Billboard Hot 100 No. 2 song "Soldier of Love" and its top twenty follow-up "Sacred Emotion". The campaign to market "Soldier Of Love" received considerable airplay with the singer being presented as a "mystery artist" before his identity was later revealed. Launching an extensive tour in support of the Eyes Don't Lie record, he enlisted Earth Wind & Fire and Kenny Loggins guitarist Dick Smith along with keyboardist Marc Jackson.
Osmond was the guest vocalist on Dweezil Zappa's star-studded version of the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" which appeared on Zappa's 1991 album Confessions. The song also included guitar solos from Zakk Wylde, Steve Lukather, Warren DeMartini, Nuno Bettencourt, and Tim Pierce. Osmond sang "No One Has To Be Alone", but the song was heard at the end of the film The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water. He also sang "I'll Make a Man Out of You" for Disney's Mulan.
In the 2000s, he released a Christmas album, an album of his favorite Broadway songs, and a compilation of popular love songs. In 2004, he returned to the UK Top 10 for the first time as a solo artist since 1973, with the George Benson-sampling "Breeze On By", co-written with former teen idol Gary Barlow, from the 1990s UK boy band Take That, reaching number 8.
In early 2011 he is scheduled to record a new album, his 56th, with legendary producer Todd Rundgren.
In the mid-1970s, he and Marie co-hosted The Mike Douglas Show for a week, and were later offered a show of their own, The Donny & Marie Show, a television variety series which aired on ABC between 1976 and 1979. Donny felt that their program should have been continued for at least another television season, and has expressed regret that the show was cancelled, as opposed to them deciding when to bring the show to conclusion.
Donny and Marie also co-hosted a talk show together 20 years later. Though ratings were high and they were nominated for an award as best talk show, the series was canceled. In a 1999 episode featuring Jefferson Starship promoting their album Windows of Heaven, the hosts performed a rendition of "Volunteers" live with the band.
Osmond went on to host Pyramid, a syndicated version of the Dick Clark-hosted television game show that ran two seasons in the US from 2002 to 2004, and a British version of Pyramid on Challenge in 2007.
Osmond returned to ABC as host of The Great American Dream Vote, a prime-time reality/game show that debuted in March 2007. After earning lackluster ratings in its first two episodes, the program was cancelled.
Osmond hosted the British version of the game show Identity on BBC Two during the daytime.
On April 11, 2008, Osmond also hosted the 2008 Miss USA pageant along with his sister Marie from Las Vegas.
Osmond appeared on Entertainment Tonight as a commentator covering the ABC show Dancing with the Stars during his sister Marie's run as a contestant on the 5th season of the American version of the popular show in Fall of 2007. He was seen at week 7 of the competition in tears in the audience watching Marie do a rumba after his and Marie's father died.
In January 2010 it was announced that Osmond would host his own syndicated radio show in a deal with McVay Syndication and Citadel Media. Versions of The Donny Osmond Show now air across America, Canada, Australia and the UK.
The show is already rating No. 1 in numerous markets and is currently one of the fastest growing radio propositions.
His first foray into Broadway musical theatre was the lead role in a revival of the 1904 George M. Cohan show Little Johnny Jones. Osmond replaced another former teen idol, David Cassidy, who left the show while it was on its pre-Broadway tour. After 29 previews and only 1 performance, the show closed on March 21, 1982.
Osmond found success in musical theatre through much of the 1990s when he starred in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for over 2,000 performances. During his performances for the musical, he suffered from Social Anxiety Disorder, which caused him to feel light-headed and extremely nervous during his performances. In 1997, Osmond left his starring role in the tour to participate with his family in the cast of the Hill Cumorah Pageant.
He returned to Broadway on September 19, 2006, in the role of Gaston in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. He was scheduled to perform for nine weeks but due to popular demand he extended his run through December 24. Liz Smith of the New York Post wrote "I am here to tell you he is charmingly campy, good-looking and grand as the villain "Gaston", patterned after our old friend Elvis and noting "Donny is divine". On July 29, 2007, Osmond played Gaston again for the final performance of Beauty and the Beast.
Donny and his sister Marie recently starred in a new holiday production called Donny & Marie – A Broadway Christmas, which was originally scheduled to play on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre from December 9–19, 2010. The show was then extended till December 30, 2010 and again till January 2, 2011. Donny & Marie-Christmas in Chicago is scheduled to play the Ford Center/Oriental Theatre in Chicago, Illinois from December 6, 2011 – December 24, 2011. It will be similar to the 2010 Broadway shows.
In the animated television series Johnny Bravo, Osmond voiced himself as a recurring character. He has also done guest spots on numerous other television shows such as Friends, Diagnosis: Murder, and Hannah Montana. He also appeared in a Pepsi Twist commercial during the Super Bowl with his sister, Marie, and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. In 1982, he co-starred with Priscilla Barnes and Joan Collins in the television movie The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch for Aaron Spelling.
In 1998, Donny Osmond was chosen to be the singing voice of Shang in Walt Disney's Mulan. He sang "I'll Make a Man Out of You".
Also in 1999, he starred in the movie version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Andrew Lloyd Webber's request who said, "to me there is no better selection". In addition to playing the role of Joseph.
In 2002 he sang 'No One Has To Be Alone' for the end credits of The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water.
Osmond remarked in an interview recently that with his movie appearance on College Road Trip and upcoming appearances on two Disney Channel shows that he would coming about full circle since he and his family were discovered by Walt Disney.
Osmond appears in the music video of "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "White & Nerdy". The song is a parody of Chamillionaire's "Ridin" Osmond's role is analogous to that of Krayzie Bone's role in the original video. Yankovic asked Osmond to appear because "if you have to have a white and nerdy icon in your video, like who else do you go for?"
Osmond and professional Kym Johnson were paired for the ninth season of Dancing with the Stars; he participated in the show to prove he was a better dancer than his sister. It was very difficult for him to manage to get to rehearsals and host his show in Las Vegas with sister Marie. For the first week, the two were assigned to dance a Foxtrot and a 30-second Salsa. His Foxtrot was said to be "too theatrical" and was scored 20/30 from the judges. He however managed to maintain a good score when his Salsa scored 10 points and was safe that week. He danced a Jive the following week which was guest judged by Baz Luhrman. He scored 25 and was scored 2nd place, called first to be safe. That following week he danced a Rumba and scored 21.
In the 8th week of competition, Osmond was required to dance a Ballroom and decade-themed Latin dance. His Ballroom Viennese Waltz received 26 but his 1980s themed Paso Doble received 24 being quoted by judge Len Goodman as "the most scariest, bizarre Paso Doble we've ever seen" being awarded last place on the judges' leaderboard for the first time. Following that week, he danced a Tango and got advice from past runner-up Gilles Marini. He got tangled in Johnson's dress and received 21 and saying the cause was that "I saw Marie". He then danced a samba to a song originally recorded by his brothers and himself called "One Bad Apple", receiving 26 and a Jitterbug scored 27. He once again was scored last place.
For the finals week, he danced a Cha-Cha-Cha (27), a Megamix dance alongside Mya and Kelly Osbourne (28), the only perfect-scoring Freestyle (30) and a repeat of his Argentine Tango (30) and won the competition. As he accepted his trophy, he hugged fellow finalist Mya and grabbed his wife, Debbie, and his sister, Marie, on stage.
Osmond states that he has had a tremendous public image struggle since Donny & Marie ended in 1979. He has been described as 'unhip', as a 'boy scout', and has been the butt of innumerable jokes, including appearing in the video "White & Nerdy" at the request of his friend, Yankovic, since he was 'the whitest guy [he] could think of'. His image has seemed such a liability that one professional publicist even suggested that Osmond purposefully get arrested for drug possession in order to change his image. In March 2010, Osmond criticized Lady Gaga and Beyoncé for using profanity and sex in their Telephone video.
Osmond married Debra Glenn (born in Billings, Montana on February 26, 1959) on May 8, 1978, in the Salt Lake Temple at age 20. Together they have five sons: Donald Clark Osmond, Jr. (b. 1979), Jeremy James Osmond (b. 1981), Brandon Michael Osmond (b. 1985), Christopher Glenn Osmond (b. 1990), and Joshua Davis Osmond (b. 1998).
Osmond became a grandfather on August 21, 2005, when his second son Jeremy and daughter-in-law Melisa (married 2002) had a son, Dylan James Osmond. His granddaughter Emery Anne was born on February 25, 2008. Osmond's third son Brandon married Shelby Hansen in 2008. Their son, Daxton Michael was born on June 28, 2010. Brandon and Shelby's second son, Tayte Darton Osmond was born on August 1, 2012. Donny's eldest son, Donald Jr. married Jessica Nelson on October 1, 2010, in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple and the couple had their first child, a son, Truman Clark Osmond on January 9, 2013.
Like the rest of his family, he is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In retrospect, he has written, "It would have been nice to be able to have served a regular full-time mission, but when I was of that age, my career was such that everyone, including my parents and the leaders of the church, thought that I could do a lot of good in the world by continuing being in the public eye, by living an exemplary life and sharing my beliefs in every way that I could". He continues sharing his beliefs in an extensive letters-and-comments portion of his website.
In the aftermath of Proposition 8 in California, which received large Mormon support, Osmond stated that he opposes same-sex marriage but that he does not condemn homosexuality. He believes that homosexual and lesbian Mormons should be accepted in the church if they remain celibate.
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