Donald Clark "Donny" Osmond is an American singer, 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. 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.
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I recently released my 60th album, THE SOUNDTRACK OF MY LIFE. The album coincides with my 50th anniversary of being in show business and is a summary of my life so far. Every track tells a story, tracing the high and low points of both my professional and personal life – from becoming a child star to achieving multiple No.1s, selling over 100 million records, and becoming a worldwide heartthrob...
You can check out my album on iTunes here, on Amazon here, or listen to my Spotify playlist here.
Victoria is assisting me today via phone. AMA!
Update: First of all, thank you for all the GREAT questions. But most of all, thank you for supporting me for all of these years. Especially to the Puppy Lovers, as well as the new fans that have recently discovered who I am. I hope you enjoy my latest album, and please tell everyone you know about it, and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Hello Mr. Osmond,
Back in the 80's you did a concert at Stockton fairgrounds with Milli Vanilli. At that concert you grabbed my mom out of the audience and kissed and/or made out with her. I just want to personally thank you because I have not stopped hearing about this since I was born. I live in fear that someone will mention your name so that my mom will bring up that moment and tell it again in excruciating detail. I could never even enjoy Mulan as a child for fear my mom would run down the hall during "I'll Make a Man Out of You" and pause the movie to tell me the story again. I know I have to ask a question so, do you at least remember this concert, or my mother?
She says Hi by the way...
Tell your mom I said Hi, and yes I remember the concert because I'm the only one who sang live! Haha!
Hi Donny, thanks for doing this AMA. Let me started by saying that we can all agree that reddit in general doesn't really fit into your typical fanbase. Most of us either haven't heard your music or just don't like it after listening to our parents play it for years.
However, I was surprised to find out that you did the vocals for I'll Make A Man Out of You from Mulan, which is my favorite song from a Disney movie.
Do you have any other hidden gems like this that might get a younger audience interested in your music?
A little bit of unknown trivia is that Donatello from TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES is named after me.
True story! He wears purple.
How did you get involved in Weird Al's "White and Nerdy" video, and what convinced you to do it?
Al just called me out of the blue, and said "I wrote this parody called 'White & Nerdy' and you're the first person I thought of."
I didn't know if that was a compliment or an insult. But it's one of the things I'm most proud of.
Hi Donny, big fan! How similar are you to your portrayal on Johnny Bravo? Those were some of my favorite episodes.
Hahaha! Not similar at all. It was very silly. But I loved doing Johnny Bravo.
Could you tell that Milli Vanilli were lip singing?
I was fooled, just like everyone else.
Hi Donny, why do you think your "good guy" image has been viewed so negatively and what does that say about society when people like yourself are considered "unhip?"
I'd rather be who I am, and not conform to society.
Hi Donny, thank you for the great work-out anthem: "Make a Man Out of You" from Mulan. What are your favorite work-out songs and how do you stay in shape? What exercises do you do?
It's all about the core these days, rather than just building muscles.
As far as the songs are concerned, there's a great album called THE SOUNDTRACK OF MY LIFE, haha! :) By Donny Osmond.
And Bruno Mars' UPTOWN FUNK is a great song to work out to.
You're obviously a Disney fan. Are you looking forward to the new Star Wars by Disney and what do you think of Star Tours at Disneyland? Or if you're not a Star Wars fan, what's super geeky-cool about you that we don't know?
I'm a Star Wars fan. And interesting bit of trivia is that George Lucas used the Donny & Marie show in 1977 to help promote the release of STAR WARS. It's actually true! I played the Mark Hamill spot. Kris Kristofferson played the Harrison Ford role. But Chewbacca, R2-D2, Darth Vader, C-3PO, and the Storm Troopers were on the show.
It's really cool.
Do you wake up every morning and piss excellence?
I wouldn't call it that.
What's your biggest challenge as a musician now? Also what do you think has changed the most in your 50 years in show business?
Social media is vitally important. I wish I had Facebook back in the "puppy love" days. And biggest challenge... is constantly re-inventing yourself, which is vitally important.
Hello Donny, thanks for doing an AMA!
If Dancing with the Stars had another all-star season but with only past champions like yourself, would you consider competing again?
I was already asked to compete again in the All-Star season a couple years ago...
But I already have one trophy. :)
Hi Donny. What is one piece of advice that you know now, that you'd tell yourself 20 years ago?
Let's see... 20 years ago... "Be a little kinder to Rosie O'Donnell." :)
Do you like pizza? If so, what toppings? Do you like beer? If so, what kind?
Edit: I remembered about the beer and tried to edit it out. But you were too fast for me! Thanks so much for answering :)
It's one of my favorite foods. But nobody puts corn on it. I love corn on pizza!
And I don't drink beer, I'm a Mormon.
Wow, love for Mark Ronson from the most unlikely of places. Respect!
What's a song you like that people wouldn't necessarily associate with your style?
I'd say "Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse. That's one of my favorites.
What's the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you while you were performing live?
Oh! It was during JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, my loincloth came off. In Salt Lake City, of all cities!
I grabbed a basket and covered myself back up! But the ensemble, the cast, they were chasing me and pulled it off me!
Hi Donny….love you so much! I lived for The Donny and Marie Show in the 70s.
I’m a little bit country, and need to know if you are still a little bit rock n roll. Do you still have a little bit of Motown in your soul?
Hahaha! Sounds like a song that I know :)
There's a lot of Motown influence in my life. Which is evident on this new album. For instance, go back and listen to BABY LOVE.
Is it good being back in Vegas?
It almost feels like coming back home, when I come to Vegas. Because I've been here for so long. It looks like this could turn out to be an 8 year run.
Hi Donny. A long time ago I read an interview with Dweezil Zappa about his upcoming album, and he said he had a guest singer "Donny F*cking Osmond!" I thought the quote was so funny that we renamed my little garage band DFO. How was it working with Dweezil? By the way, your vocals on the Stayin' Alive cover were insane - I did not realise just how great a singer you were.
I had the privilege of knowing his dad, Frank, and to be able to work with Dweezil was incredible. Because he really is an amazing musician. And he pushed me to the limits, vocally!
Any chance on you helping me get a date with your beautiful sister?
Dream on, buddy!
Hi Donny! My mum's a huge fan (and I love Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat). She met Merrill a couple of years ago in London and wouldn't stop talking about it. She would love to know if you would consider rejoining the Osmonds for a UK tour?
I miss working with my brothers, and I think that would be a fun opportunity.
Would you rather:
Have fingers as long as your legs or legs as long as your fingers?
Have a dragon or be a dragon?
Stand barefoot on an iceblock for 20 min or be tickled on your bare feet for 20 min?
And Why for each? :P
1) That's a stupid question, haha! I would rather have fingers as long as my legs. Can you imagine?
2) Be a dragon.
3) Standing on ice blocks.
Hi Donny! Welcome to Reddit! Your new CD led me to ponder the soundtrack of my own life and I found it hard to narrow down songs. How hard was it for you to narrow it down to the songs that you did record for the album?
It was a yearlong process, and I had a list of at least 300 songs that I narrowed down to 15.
In Weird Al's first ever take of White and Nerdy, your dancing is incredible, was that mostly freestyle or did you rehearse it beforehand?
I play that video at every party I attend
Everything you see in that video was improv.
Are you and Rosie on good terms now? I'm not sure my mom has gotten over how Rosie behaved with the whole 'Puppy Love' fiasco.
Rosie and I are best friends. And that was evident, last week, when I did THE VIEW.
Hello Mr Osmond. Who is your favourite singer right now?
Hi Donny, loving the new album - especially Survivor.
I was hoping you would be touring UK this year but now we're hearing about a D&M world tour instead. Are you still planning a solo tour in the UK? If so, can you give us a clue when this will be?
Please don't forget to come to Scotland (just don't sit on any glass coffee tables!!!!)
SURVIVOR seems to be... everyone's favorite.
It's also my wife's favorite song on the album. As far as the world tour goes, there are no plans right now. But I will keep you posted if anything changes.
Hello Donny! Thank you for introducing me to yet another techie thing lol
Is there a song you would have liked to put on the 60th album but didn't have room for?
I almost did JUST THE WAY YOU ARE by Billy Joel. But it didn't make it.
Hi Donny. Love the new album, my favorite song by far is "Survivor". Will you be doing any videos? "Survivor" NEEDS a video!!
There are no plans to do a video right now. But I certainly have some ideas of what I would do, if I did a video for SURVIVOR. It would be very interesting.
Donny, I have never seen Mulan, but I have listened to I'll Make a Man Out of You 45 dozen times. Do you ever get tired of a song like that yourself, or is it great everytime for you like it is for me?
I've heard 46 thousand times and I still like it!
Hi Donny! What was your favorite song you have ever written/sung?
There's a song called FACES IN THE MIRROR which I thought could've been a single that I recorded back in...1990. I love that song.
Recently I attended your show in Vegas and you and Marie paid tribute to many artists. Which artist influenced you the most and why?
Stevie Wonder. Because he's Stevie Wonder, hahaha!
Boxers or Briefs? Coffee or tea? Beach or mountains? Mani or pedi? :P
None of the above! Hahaha!
Hi Donny! Lifelong fan here. Have you ever been to Alaska? Would you like to come visit? Maybe do a show while you're here?
I went fishing in the Kenai peninsula back in 2003... and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I think about it every day. How fortunate I am to still be doing what i love, over 50 years later. Not very many people can say that. And i owe it to my fans.
So thank you!
What advice do you have for dealing with performance anxiety? I'm 45 and have been taking piano lessons for a year. I get so anxious during lessons, I have a hard time playing for my teacher. My mind just goes blank. I don't even play as well if I'm just recording my self on my phone! Beta blockers have helped, but I'd like to not have to rely on them. What can I do to get a handle on my anxiety?
My wife gave me the best advice EVER when she said: "When you perform, just be average."
How pleased are you with the positive feedback and reviews on The Soundtrack of My Life?
It's always gratifying when - after working a project for almost 2 years - when people respect the work, and believe me, there was a lot of work behind this album.
You totally made my best friend's day by sitting on her lap in AC. Do you typically interact with your audience? Has anyone ever acted inappropriately when you have?
I don't normally sit on people's laps. But yes, they can be inappropriate sometimes.
Donny, I love your attitude! Your positive energy is a real inspiration. You seem like a genuinely kind and loving man who improves the world around him on a regular basis. Here are my questions:
What was your greatest personal victory of 2014?
Also (and this may be a bit morbid), given your level of fame it is a strong possibility that a hundred years from now, some one will claim you "haunt" somewhere.
What place would you like to be known to "haunt"?
First of all, thank you for the compliment.
And I think the greatest accomplishment, professionally, was the completion of my 60th album.
Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame?
If you had to record a duet album with a current artist, who would it be?
I think a collaboration with Janet Jackson would be amazing, given the juxtaposition of the Jacksons and the Osmonds.
What is the most exhausting part of the Vegas show? I'm worn out just watching you do Celebrate!
From beginning to end, it's exhausting!
How awesome was it to ring that bell last week at the NYSE?
To be part of a 222 year tradition was beyond words. It was so cool.
My mom is a really big fan of yours (I think she almost died when you serenaded her a couple years ago at a show, and then again when Marie brought my dad on stage at a Christmas show). I must know... is purple really your favorite color?
It actually is.
I don't wear purple socks anymore, thank goodness, but yes, I still like purple.
I've seen an appearance of you and your brothers on the Flip Wilson show. What was Flip like?
He was a consummate comedian. His timing was always spot-on. I remember doing this skit with Flip, and Lucille Ball... talk about two great comedians in one place!
What is it like to have the perfect smile?
Oh, you didn't see me before I wore braces! :)
Hey Donny! This has been driving me nuts since last June. You were grabbing requests from the audience for songs to cover, you asked a little girl what she wanted to hear and she said "Elsa". First do you remember that moment (lol) and if so did you know she was talking about Frozen? You went off for a bit like you had no idea who Elsa was. It's that nagging thing I've wonder every time I drive past the Flamingo. Would you be willing to do your own version
BTW I was in your sister Marie's ward in Henderson, she is always so cool and open to talk.
There really is no interest right now to do my own version of FROZEN...but did you know the animation of the Prince was pattered after YouTube videos of me?
My nephew Hyram animated the Prince using his Uncle Donny's YouTube videos.
Hi Donny! Can you tell us which of your songs you'll be adding to the Vegas show? Everyone I talk with would love to see you add Survivor to the show! :)
I really don't know what I'm going to add at this point. I just barely started this week. So I imagine in weeks to come, I could answer this question better.
How was it doing Strictly Come Dancing in the UK?
You'd think being a judge would be easy, but it's a very difficult position to be in.
Hi Donny! Thank you for doing this AMA! Your #1 single in 1972, Puppy Love was my very fist 45 record (ok...I am dating myself here) I wanted 2 45's for my birthday. Puppy Love and I'll Be There by MJ. I cannot thank you enough for all of the years of wonderful music and laughs. My question is.....I know you were only 9 or 10 at the time, but did you have any idea that Puppy Love would be as big as it was? Also......I wanted to say your 1 year rememberance of Michael Jackson was wonderful on Youtube. You are a Class Act!
I had NO idea that "Puppy Love" was going to be my signature song. I only sang it 3 times in the studio. And that 3rd time was the take that then ton the record.
what are your favorite mics, headphones for studio use and for personal use? also favorite toothpaste, dental hygiene regime?
As far as headphones, audiotechnica makes some of the best phones. As far as a mic, I use the blue bottle with the C-0 diaphragm. And whatever's available at the drugstore!
Will the Home Furnishings Line ever be available in the UK??
The company is so new that at the present moment, it's not available. But there are plans to expand it in the next couple years.
Do you have all of the collectibles that were made of you...All the dolls and everything? Or do you only have a few remaining pieces of your merchandise?
I only have a few pieces. But one of the things that I'm glad I still have is a box of my original purple socks! I don't know why I keep them.
But I do.
How would you compare being a child star in the 1970s to the level of scrutiny that child stars face today?
I think there's a lot more danger with social media. Whereas in days past, or in times past, you could cover up a lot of bad stuff.
Do you ever have writers block? Ever feel that after 60 albums, you have expressed everything you want to convey? What artistically keeps you going?
Oh geez, haha! Writer's block. I get writer's block all the time. And what i want to convey changes from album to album. This current album literally is the soundtrack of my life. And everything I want to say at this point in my life.
How ill were you after your appearance on Saturday Kitchen recently?
I seem to recall you being served some seafood that you weren't particularly fond of....
Just this question makes me want to gag again!
Hi Donny - knowing you've been a long time techie, and were 'married' to your Blackberry for so long, but you recently made the switch to Android, and I believe Samsung. How do you like working on an Android and would you ever make the switch back to Blackberry?
I miss the tactile feel of a Blackberry. But once you go Android... you can never go back.