Biography

A performer who ultimately evolved into one of the most sought-after teen pop idols of the 1970s, singer and occasional actor Donny Osmond initially rode to fame as a member of the Osmonds vocal ensemble, alongside four of his siblings. Born in 1957 to George Osmond and Olive Osmond of Ogden, UT, Donald Clark Osmond grew up watching older brothers Alan, Wayne, Jay, and Merrill establish themselves as a stage act with barbershop quartet-style vocal performances at Disneyland and on The Andy Williams Show; Donny joined the rest in 1968, at the age of 11, and followed when the family migrated to The Jerry Lewis Show. The band encountered unchecked popularity following the rise of "family-themed" vocal groups such as the Jackson 5 and the fictional Partridge Family in the late '60s and early '70s. Thanks in no small part to the tutelage and guidance of MGM head Mike Curb, the Osmonds took advantage of this "family pop" trend and netted a massive fan base; in time, they gained a new member in the form of youngest child Little Jimmy Osmond, and received occasional vocal support from sister Marie Osmond. Through it all, Donny remained the centerpiece; his solo career also took off in the early '70s alongside that of the larger family, and commenced with 1971's The Donny Osmond Album. The popularity of this and subsequent efforts turned Osmond into a teenage heartthrob who ultimately rivaled David Cassidy, Michael Jackson, and others in popularity. Donny and Marie united for a musical variety show on ABC in 1976 and sustained it for three and a half long and successful years, but the program folded in May 1979. It took around ten more years for Donny to issue his debut solo record as an adult; his style (which earned occasional comparisons to George Michael) did connect with a sizeable audience, and though his popularity waned somewhat by the mid-'90s, he regained much of it via performances as Joseph of the Old Testament in the stage musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Donny also co-headlined a talk program with Marie in the late '90s and continued issuing solo records from time to time. In 2002 he attempted a comeback as the host of a revamped version of the classic game show Pyramid, but the program was short-lived. Osmond appeared on the ninth season of the popular reality competition show Dancing With the Stars. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi