Throughout history, there have been many famous families who have made a huge impact on the world of music. Although these bands have all made us pretty jealous that our brothers and sisters don’t have a single musical bone in their bodies (if only), we have learnt to appreciate the diversity and the talent of some of the biggest names in the business. There was the Jackson 5, The Carpenters, the Bee Gees, The Beach Boys, Hanson – and of course, the Osmond family.
The Osmond family is one of the most iconic musical groups of all time – because it isn’t just one singular group. Oh, no. We can only imagine the Osmond’s were fans of the ‘go big or go home’ phrase, as their family has produced The Osmond Brothers, The Donny and Marie Show and a heck load of epic music over the course of their four-decade-career. However, the Osmond family weren’t always famous. In fact, they started off their career as a relatively unknown barbershop quartet.
The original Osmond quartet featured Alan, Wayne, Merrill and Jay – and they soon realized there was a demand for an all-singing, all-dancing family band (duh, who doesn’t love that?) so enlisted the help of Donny and Jimmy to create The Osmonds. Later on, Marie, their sister, joined the group, and their popularity skyrocketed.
However, the life of the Osmond family wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. In fact, the early success of the band thrust the family into a world fueled by drink, drugs, paparazzi, and power. Although many of the band members abided by their strict Mormon beliefs, they struggled to survive in the harsh spotlight of fame. There was abuse, there was failure, and there were secrets. Now, we’ve uncovered the secrets surrounding one of the most famous families in the world…
Starving herself for fame
Everyone knows the struggle of your teenage years – but Marie Osmond found growing up even more difficult, as her childhood was ruled by producers and high-ranking entertainment whizzes. When Marie was just 15-years-old, she was told by producers that she was overweight, “disgusting and a disgrace to my family.” Although she was only 103 pounds at the time, she was forced to starve herself to reach 97 pounds. If she hadn’t done this, the producers would have canceled their TV show.
It seems Donny Osmond is a man of many talents, and many passions… including a passion for all things tech-related. Yep, Donny Osmond is a super nerd. It has been reported that Donny personally designed the video control desk and room in the Flamingo Hotel, Las Vegas. He also designed the computer systems and installed the audio systems for their Las Vegas show. As if that wasn’t enough, Donny also created and installed the (awesome) video montages that appear in their show. That’s kinda cute.
A dark past
Marie Osmond was always the odd one out in the Osmond family. As the only girl in the family, she was scrutinized more than any of the men and was always expected to have a smile on her face. However, there was a dark past behind her smile. In her memoir entitled Behind the Smile, Marie Osmond revealed that she had been the victim of abuse when she was just a child. She wrote that it was “most damaging” to be the victim of that kind of inappropriate behavior. Although she has not revealed the identity of her abuser, she has maintained that they were not members of her family.
Lovers of the church
The Osmond family have always been associated with the church; from their strict Mormon beliefs to their scrupulous religious attendance. Faith and religion is a huge part of their lives – so much so that 10% of their personal earnings have always been donated to the church. Through their allegiance to the church, the Osmonds have helped thousands of people across the world. However, their generosity doesn’t stop there. Donny founded the Osmond Foundation for the Children of the World, and Marie is a major figure in the Children’s Miracle Network. Could they get any cooler?
The Bellagio Bridge
Donny Osmond has always been known to be ‘Uncle Donny’ to his friends, family, and fans across the world. However, he often wants to show people that there’s more to him than meets the eye – his 6 feet tall eyes! Yep, whenever his friends or family visit him in Las Vegas, Donny always takes them over to the impressive Bellagio Bridge to get an eyeful of their incredible advertisement for the Donny & Marie show. The advertisement adorns The Flamingo Hotel, and his eyes alone rock in at a ridiculous 6 foot high, and 10 feet across!
Not a normal job
When we were 17-years-old, most of us bagged ourselves a 9-5 job flipping burgers to pay our way. However, this wasn’t the case for Donny and Marie Osmond. Donny was just 17-years-old when he started filming for the Donny & Marie Show and was expected to work intense and long 20-hour days learning dance moves, rehearsing their set, and memorizing their scripts. Wowza. It’s fair to say their job wasn’t a normal job, but brother and sister duo never complained or showed any signs of exhaustion.
Donny not Donnie
Let’s be honest, we all get pretty annoyed when someone spells our name wrong – which means we have something in common with Donny Osmond (our dream has come true!) Of course, Donny isn’t the most unusual name, but many of the people Donny Osmond came across want to spell Donny with an “ie”, rather than a “y.” Unfortunately, this became a bit of a running joke, as the staff at The Flamingo Hotel deliberately misspelled the gold star nameplate on the door to his dressing room – just to annoy him. And it probably worked.
Going all out
Donny Osmond is by-far one of the most famous Osmond family members and is known for his incredible stage presence. If you’re going to see him live, you know you’re in for an epic performance! However, it seems Donny Osmond does get pretty excited sometimes. Instead of dancing on the ceiling like Lionel Richie (which is pretty impressive), Donny Osmond can often be seen dancing on the tables. Marie often warns their fans in the front row to keep a tight hold of their drinks… just in case Donny comes along.
As one of the most successful musicians of all time, it’s no surprise that Donny Osmond runs out of space in his daily planner. Apparently, Donny goes to sleep at 2 am and then wakes up at 6 am to drive one of his many sons to the local airport. He then manages to get an hour of kip in before waking up and recording his voice-over for a Disney cartoon, before hitting the gym to get him pumped for his Las Vegas show. However, his tour schedule is a little different. It consists of sitting on the tour bus, rehearsing, singing, and repeating – with a little reading thrown in for good measure.
Marie Osmond has always felt the pressure to be skinny in the world of showbusiness and reportedly lost a whopping 47 pounds while performing at The Flamingo Hotel and performing on Dancing with the Stars. However, Marie did not lose this weight to please the press. In fact, she has always been conscious about keeping fit, as her mother and grandmother both passed away due to heart disease. She wants to ensure she is fit and healthy and lives a long life for the sake of her children.
However, Marie is not the only Osmond to get onboard the weight loss train. Since the start of their Flamingo Hotel show, Donny Osmond has lost a whopping two inches from his waist – go, Donny! This weight loss isn’t surprising though, as their 90-minute show is full of intense dance routines, and cardio movements that will get the blood pumping. Donny also tries to go to the gym every day, to ensure he is in tip-top shape for their show, and to ensure he adds a little muscle to his body.
Going their separate ways
Donny and Marie Osmond formed one of the most popular Osmond family groups, and are often thought of as the ultimate Osmond power group in the 70s. However, the brother and sister duo weren’t always as tight as they once were. In the late ‘80s, Donny and Marie parted ways to embark on their own solo projects (*sobs*) Of course, we all missed them when they went their separate ways, so we were pretty excited to hear that they had once again joined forces to perform in Las Vegas.
Getting a little help
Unfortunately, their transition back into the Osmond power group wasn’t as easy as they first thought. When they were younger, Donny would lead their group and boss Marie around. However, as she got older and took charge of her own career, Donny realized that Marie could no longer be controlled – a concept he struggled with. The pair enlisted the help of Barry Leather, a prolific choreographer and director, to mediate their relationship and help them get back into the swing of things.
Spending time apart
Fans of Donny and Marie would love to believe that the pair are best friends as well as brother and sister outside of their working relationship. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case (sorry, guys). Although they spend most of their time together and get ready in connected dressing rooms, they will spend their free time apart from each other. It’s not that they don’t like each other, it’s just that they would prefer to spend their free time with their families and kids. That’s understandable. They’re forgiven.
It’s easy to think that celebrities are these perfect humans – but thankfully for us, they’re not (which makes us feel a lot better). In fact, nearly every celeb has a weird habit… including Donny Osmond. Donny Osmond’s weird habit is that he just loves salt! Marie has been pretty vocal about her brothers weird eating habit and has even reported that he will always lick pretzels, to get all of the salt off before he pops them in his mouth. You do you, Donny. You do you.
It’s no secret that the Osmond family have had a pretty successful musical career – but do you know how successful they really were? Well, the family has received numerous Gold Records, and has received certification not once, not twice, not three… but FOUR TIMES. Their first album to go gold was the 1974 album, Leaving It All Up To You. Despite their ongoing fame and their musical prowess, the Osmond family have not released any new music since 2011 – and we’re getting pretty impatient.
A lavish lifestyle
As the only girl in the Osmonds, Marie took it upon herself to be incredibly fabulous and live a lavish lifestyle – and she totally rocked it. From a young age, Marie decked herself out in the finest designer clothing of the time, and wouldn’t be seen anywhere without a Louis Vuitton purse on her arm (y’know, like all of us). Between shows, she would often be seen wandering around with her hair in curlers and a comfortable outfit on… and she still looked fabulous. Not that we’re jealous or anything.
Making a family
Although he had had a pretty rough childhood, Donny was certain he wanted a family of his own – and he didn’t waste any time. When he was only 20-years-young and one of the biggest names in the world of showbusiness, Donny got hitched to Debra Glenn at the local Salt Lake Temple. Over the course of their marriage, the couple have welcomed five beautiful sons into the world; Donald Clark Jr., Jeremy James, Christopher Glenn, Brandon Michael, and Joshua Davis. We bet that’s a noisy household…
A stint on Broadway
Donny Osmond has always been known as the entertainer of the Osmond clan and even turned his talents to the world of Broadway. During his career, Donny appeared in three Broadway shows – including a stint in Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and he also bagged himself the lead role in the popular show, Little Johnny Jones. Most recently, Donny appeared as Gaston in the Broadway adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. Because no one’s slick as Don-ny, no one’s quick as Don-ny…
A secret admirer
When you’ve lived your whole life in the limelight, it probably comes as no surprise that there’s a few (okay, thousands) of women and men vying for your attention. However, Donny had no idea that he would have a secret admirer when he appeared on the popular show, The Kumars at No.42. The star of the show, Sanjeev Bhaskar, mentioned to Donny that his wife had always had a crush on him and had wanted to marry him. She even said she would convert to Mormonism to be with him!
The voice of Donny
Donny Osmond is so much more than a pretty face with a pretty voice – because sometimes he’s just a pretty voice! Over the course of his career, Donny has lent his voice to many animated cartoons and TV shows. One of his most prolific voice-over roles came in the popular Disney movie, Mulan. In this movie, Donny provided the voice of Captain Li Shang, and sang the iconic ‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You’ (we dare you not to sing it). He has also appeared in The Osmonds and Johnny Bravo. Well, bravo Donny…
A record holder
Jimmy Osmond is often overshadowed by his older brothers and sisters – but he definitely shouldn’t be, because Jimmy Osmond is a world record holder! When he was just 9-years-old, Jimmy released a solo single called “Long Haired Lover From Liverpool” which skyrocketed up the charts and landed him the number one top-spot. This incredible feat made Jimmy the youngest person in Britain to have a number one, a record he still holds today. However, Jimmy has always been humble about his success, and is not one to blow his own trumpet – so we’ll do it for him.
Saving their money
Everyone knows Donny and Marie Osmond… and we even know Alan, Wayne, Merrill and Jay – but did you know there more members of the Osmond clan? The oldest brothers in the Osmond family are Tom and George Virl Osmond. However, they haven’t had an easy time of it. The two brothers were born deaf, but their family could not afford hearing aids. To pay for their brothers’ needs, the Osmond family decided to venture into the world of entertainment, and gather all of their money raised from their performances to pay for these aids. How adorable.
Many of the Osmond family now have families of their own – including Marie. Marie adopted her daughter, Jessica Blosil, when she was just a baby and has been very public about her love and affection for her. In her book, Marie noted that Jessica had come out as a member of the LGBT community when she was just 17-years-old. A couple of months later, Marie confessed that she had cried when Jessica came out to her, as she was afraid of the judgment and prejudice her beloved daughter may experience.
Resisting the urge
It’s no secret that the Osmonds stick to their Mormon faith, and these values have often had a negative effect on their reputation. In fact, Donny Osmond has always been mocked for being pretty uncool (awww). With his talent and his looks, Donny Osmond could have been the next king of rock and roll – but chose to value his religion. In a world full of drink, illegal substances and intimate relationships (if you catch our drift), Donny decided to resist the urge and stick to his devout beliefs.
Believing in God
God and religion have always been a huge part of Donny’s life, and he and the Osmonds have always believed that “God comes first” in every decision they make, and every action they take. This belief has worked in Donny’s favor, who maintains that his morals and values have helped him to become the success story he is today. He believes the perfect formula is a balance of believing in God and being there for your family. Unlike what many of his critics believe – Donny has never been naive, he has just stuck by his morals.
Nobody is perfect
Growing up in the spotlight must be hard for anyone – and it must be even harder for young teens who were thrust into the limelight. Marie Osmond struggled to grow up in the world of showbusiness, and her childhood and adult life have been full of ups and downs. However, Marie has since reflected on her childhood (well, the little childhood she had) and realized that she didn’t have the kind of normal upbringing any other kid would have. Nevertheless, she now understands that nobody is perfect, and nobody has the perfect childhood or life.
Nights out with MJ
As the Osmond family skyrocketed to fame, they soon found themselves running in the same circles as some of the most prolific names of the time – including Michael Jackson (as if they couldn’t get any cooler). When he was just 17-years-old, Donny attended the American Music Awards and bumped into MJ. After realizing that they were both hungry, Donny and MJ went off in Donny’s limo to get some tacos (yum) and spent the rest of the evening hanging out of the limo sunroof and stuffing their faces. The dream?
Let’s be honest, we’d all have our little diva moments if we were famous, and today’s celebs are exactly the same. They might demand their dressing room to be full of their favorite flowers, or they might even ask for a constant supply of Lucky Charms (but only the marshmallows). Marie Osmond has a fair few demands herself and asks her dressing room to be bathed in a specific lighting. Well, you need the perfect lighting to take the perfect selfie, you know…
Didn’t see a penny
Our minds have already been blown by the fact that Jimmy Osmond holds the record for being the youngest ever solo artist to reach the number one top-spot. Considering he sold so many copies of his single, you’d expect him to be rollin’ in the Benjamins. Unfortunately, the then 9-year-old didn’t see a penny of this profit. As he got older, Jimmy started to call out the music industry and the money artists would receive from their sales – and rightly so!
Making some money
However, Jimmy eventually made a *little* bit of money – and when we say a little, we mean $80 million! As The Osmonds rose to success, the started to build up their fortune through live performances, tours, and movie and TV cameos. Their live performances had allowed them to provide for their family, and sit on a few million to buy themselves a comfortable life. Although they were pretty happy with their bank balance, they have always felt downtrodden by the fact this money had not come from their record sales.
The perfect dressing room
If you’re going to be performing every single night, you’d want it to be pretty comfortable – so when Marie and Donny were finalizing their contract with The Flamingo in Las Vegas, Marie had a few demands. She wanted the perfect dressing room. However, her demand wasn’t too extreme. All she wanted was the biggest dressing room, so she would have enough space to get ready before her show, space to fit all of her personal belongings, and be able to fill it with 15-20 of her friends and family… and dogs!
A lover of cars
If you’re sitting on a million-dollar-fortune, you’d probably want to splash the cash. From an early age, Jimmy Osmond has always been a lover of cars – so knew exactly what he wanted to spend his hard-earned money on. Jimmy has a pretty impressive collection of vintage cars and sports cars, and even has an incredible DeLorean… we wonder if he can go back to the future? As if that wasn’t enough, when he was just 14-years-old, he bought his first house!
Donny’s purple socks
If you’re a fan of Donny Osmond (which is everyone, right?), you may have noticed that he is rarely seen without his purple socks on. Throughout his career, many fans and newspapers had their own theories about the purple socks – many thought he had OCD, and others even though they were his lucky charm. After years of speculation, Donny finally came clean about the reason; and it’s all to do with his mother. When the Osmond children were younger, their mother gave each child different colored socks so that they could differentiate between them all. Donny was given purple!
As the only girl in the Osmond family, it must have been hard for Marie to deal with the burgeoning pressures of fame. Luckily, she had a few lessons from one of the best in the business; Lucille Ball. When she was just 16-years-old, Marie scored herself a guest role on Lucille’s show and was waved over by the showbiz legend once they had finished filming. Lucille gave Marie tricks of the trade, and even gave her tips on how to perfect lighting during interviews and performances. Well, now we know where the diva demands have come from…
A narcotics scandal
The Osmonds have always stuck by their Mormon beliefs, but that doesn’t mean the press and PR companies haven’t tried to coerce them into scandal. As he’s got older, Donny Osmond has reported on the pressures and the pain of fame. After he had just signed to Virgin Records (which had been done as a favor to Peter Gabriel), the record label and the PR gurus wanted to leak a fake scandal about Donny, which revolved around illegal substances. However, Donny refused and stuck to his Mormon roots.
Mr. Steal Yo’ Girl
In 1975, Jay was seeing a young girl named Debbie, and Donny was seeing a young girl named Tammy. The couples went on a date to see Elton John in concert (just your average double date, right?) However, while Elton was singing Your Song, Donny looked towards Debbie (his brother’s date) and knew he was going to marry her. After dumping Tammy, he asked out Debbie – and they have been together ever since. Perhaps this Mr. Steal Yo’ Girl moment was the inspiration for Could She Be Mine?
A completely different personality
Donny Osmond has always been the performer. He is loud, confident, outlandish and always focused on entertaining the crowd. However, it seems Donny has a completely different personality when he’s not on the stage. He has confessed that when he is at home, he is totally laid-back and focused on his family. Unlike many stars, he does not employ staff to look after his home. Instead, he mows the lawn and even does a bit of DIY here and there.
Marie and Nutrisystem
Marie Osmond’s body transformation has always been one of wonder, and many people have asked how she lost so much weight in so little time. Well, it seems her new advertising campaign has shed light on this incredible weight loss. In recent years, she has been an ambassador and seller of the Nutrisystem weight loss products. She has maintained that she lost the majority of her weight using this service. However, many have also put her weight loss down to her time on Dancing with the Stars.
Runs in the family
The Osmond family has always been praised for their ability to produce talented young men (and Marie). The male genes seem to run in the family, as Donny and his wife have welcomed five sons into the world. The birth of their sons was incredibly spaced out, and there is a whopping 20 years difference between their oldest and youngest son. Donny and Deborah are now welcoming a new generation of Osmonds into the family as they become grandparents. So cute!
The baby blues
Marie Osmond has always struggled with life in the limelight and her own self-esteem. However, her biggest hurdle came after the birth of her son, Brandon. It is common for new mothers to have a case of the baby blues as their bodies are riddled with hormones after the birth of their baby. However, after weeks of the blues, Marie knew there was something more to her situation. She soon discovered that she had postpartum depression, and is now a major advocate for the treatment and diagnosis in new mothers.
A stint in Disneyland
After realizing they had a knack for singing, the Osmond family took a trip to LA to try and bag themselves a record deal. However, their meeting canceled on them at the last minute, so the Osmonds needed something to do to pass the time. Naturally, they took a trip to the happiest place on earth… Disneyland! As they were wandering through Main Street, they noticed the Dapper Dan Disney group and started to sing along with the quartet. They were soon noticed by the director of guest relations at Disneyland, who asked them to perform that same night.
On the way to bankruptcy
In 1975, The Osmonds were struggling. Their albums were failing to get off the ground, and they were on their way to bankruptcy. However, the Osmond passion kicked in, and the family decided to pick themselves up and push themselves to their next goal. To do this, they bought a TV set and created the Donny and Marie Show, in the hope that they had created the next big TV show. Unfortunately, the show was canceled, and they had to release two more albums to cover the costs.
The 2008 CDs
If you have an Osmond CD on your CD rack, you may want to see when it was released – because you may have a fake (sorry). When they first started releasing their music, the Osmonds stuck to traditional vinyl records. They continued to release their music on this platform for the rest of their career until they finally decided to get with the times in 2008. That year, they released their first album on CD… just as MP3 and digital media was taking off. Oops.
Choosing the army
After a while, Alan Osmond wanted to explore life outside of the band – so packed up his microphone and left his brothers behind. It was his intention to embark on a Mormon mission trip but soon felt like he was making the wrong decision. So, he prayed, and he fasted and decided that he wanted to join the military instead of going on the mission. After a successful military interview, he was chosen to work as a Colonel’s secretary close to their home.
Getting him ready
Although Alan was not going to fight for the military, he had to undergo basic training just like every other member of the American military. In an incredible twist of fate, he soon realized that his years of experience with The Osmonds made his training a doddle. He was fit as fiddle from all of the performing and dancing, and his choreography experience made bayonet training a breeze. He passed the boot camp stage with flying colors and even won three awards for his talent.
At just 26-years-old, David Osmond was sadly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The condition had made it incredibly difficult for David to move his limbs on his own accord and slowly lost his ability to walk. He would often have to use a cane and was wheelchair bound for many months. Thankfully, new research into the condition found that steroids could help sufferers of MS, and a shot right before his wedding day enabled him to walk down the aisle and marry the love of his life.
For decades, fans have been intrigued by the life and career of the Osmond family band, and Jay Osmond’s autobiography has shed some light on their successes, and the trials and tribulations of life on the road. In this book, he writes about the relationships between the family members, as well as their experiences of working with some of the biggest names in the business – including The Beatles and Elvis Presley. The autobiography is written like a play, to highlight the stages they performed on.
A musical family
The Osmonds were always known as one of the best musical families of the time, but they also had competition. Around that same time, The Jackson Five were taking the world by storm. Luckily, these two families did not see each other as competition, and would often work together and coordinate their music together. On one occasion, both families were staying at the same hotel, and they all came together to play a (huge) game of football.
Keeping it in the family
Over the course of their lives, the Osmonds have grown in number – quite a few numbers, in fact. Donny and Marie’s parents, George and Olive, originally welcomed nine children into the world, and as of 2013, they had 124 descendants. Yep, George and Olive had 55 grandchildren and around 70 great grandchildren (bet that’s an expensive Christmas). However, the Osmond descendants have never been pressured into fame, with many working in publishing, medicine and more.
Meeting the Osmonds
It’s no secret that the Osmond family had a pretty impressive fan base at the peak of their career, and many of these fans would do anything to get up close and personal with their favorite Osmond. And we mean anything. These fans would often think of wild and wacky ways to see their icons in the flesh, including one woman who actually mailed herself to the Osmonds hotel room. Needless to say, it didn’t work.
Jimmy and Michael
As the Osmonds and the Jacksons were so close, it’s no surprise that two of the family members became extremely good friends. Jimmy Osmond and Michael Jackson became incredibly close as they embarked on their careers, and used to hang out whenever they had the time. In fact, it’s been reported that many of the songs written for the Osmonds were passed onto The Jackson Five, and vice versa. They would both pick up on tips and tricks of the trade, and would often watch each others’ performances.
Testing the ropes
As we’ve already seen, fans will do (literally) anything they can to see the Osmonds in the flesh – including scaling a building. While the family was performing in Florida, they returned to their hotel to get a good night’s rest. However, they soon realized something a little different about their hotel room, and they saw ropes hanging down onto their balcony. It was discovered that fans were using the ropes to scale the building and were intending to drop down into their room. Right…
The Osmonds were always considered a group. They lived together, they toured together, they performed together, and they all shared their strict Mormon beliefs. This led many people to wonder how they discovered other musical talent and influences. However, the family made sure they were constantly being exposed to new music, new genres, new choreography and new influences by making appearances on television shows. They then used this new material to adapt their own sound and expand their brand.
Check under the stage…
As kids, we’re always told to check under our beds to make sure there aren’t any monsters getting ready to eat us – but have you ever heard of checking under the stage? Well, the Osmonds have now incorporated this phrase into their vocabulary, after an interesting experience at one of their shows. An excited fan managed to make her way backstage and actually UNDER the stage, to get a good look at her musical icons. She managed to hide underneath the drum set, and reached up to wrap her arms around Jay’s legs mid-song…
Jimmy, the opera singer
As they’ve got older, the Osmond siblings have always tried to step out of their comfort zone – including Jimmy Osmond. A few years ago, Jimmy appeared on a British talent show called Pop Star to Operastar, where some of the biggest pop singers would embark on a mission to train as an opera singer. Although Jimmy absolutely loved the experience of being on the show, he has since reported that it was one of the hardest tasks he has ever been faced with. Of course, he was pretty darn incredible as an opera singer.
The Osmond family curse
We’ve already seen that Marie Osmond has had her fair share of struggles and mental health issues throughout her life and career, but her world took a tumble in 2010 when her adopted son took his own life. Her son had left behind a note, which spoke of his battle with depression and substance addiction, and how he wanted to rid himself of his demons once and for all. When Marie was suffering from postpartum depression, she had also tried to take her own life – which has led many people to believe that there is an Osmond family curse.