The boyband superstar says he has been mocked his entire life for his “family, health and moral code”
He has been in showbiz for more than 50 years, is a healthy, happily-married grandfather who wows an army of fans at his regular show in Las Vegas.
But, despite all this success, Donny Osmond’s glowing, mahogany skin doesn’t seem any thicker than it was when he was the first boyband superstar.
“I was 14 or 15, doing my gig, and it’s working. I’m one of the biggest teeny boppers in the world, and Rolling Stone magazine comes out with an article which says ‘the worst day in rock’n’roll history was the day Donny Osmond was born,” he recalls, sounding angry and a bit sad, even now.
“A teenager is just trying to figure out who he is, let alone having that. That’s the ultimate bullying. It really hurt me.”
Donny stole the show in The Osmonds and became a solo star, singing hits like Puppy Love with doe eyes which bewitched the teenies of his day.
But he was sneered at for his bubblegum pop and when his career flopped when he hit his twenties, his fans all grown up, he found himself in the wilderness.
Seeing him mocked for his no smoking, no drinking, no drugs, squeaky-clean image – the result of his strict Mormon religion – pal Michael Jackson even suggested he change his name.
Today, though, Donny insists he is glad he wasn’t cool – because he is the one still going strong.
His troubled peers Jackson and Prince, he says, ended up looking to him for guidance on how to live a happy life.
Donny, 58, says: “I remember having long conversations with Prince at Paisley Park. He was interested in the details of my life, my family. Michael was the same way.
“One of the things I pride myself on is normalcy in a world which is anything but normal. And I think they were completely interested in how I balanced my life. Those guys couldn’t.
“Maybe they were looking to me for guidance. I’ve been married 38 years – that is a little unusual in showbiz. Five wonderful sons. Eight wonderful grandbabies. It was satisfying. I had my personal life together. The things people mock keep me stable.
“It’s very easy to lose it mentally and get caught up in your own hype. I was one of the biggest teeny boppers back in the day and that can really mess up your mind.”
With more than a hint of glee in his voice, he adds: “I’ve been made fun of my entire life about things like family, my health code and moral code. And it’s like: ‘In your face everybody, I’m the last one laughing. I’m the last one standing.”
It certainly feels that way in a year when legends are dropping like flies.
Donny might not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but his success is unarguable. He has been performing his show with sister Marie in Vegas for almost eight years and his anniversary The Soundtrack of My Life tour sells out.
He says he’s in great health. “I’m always working out, I’m very careful what I eat. The Mormon lifestyle helped me because I don’t smoke or drink. I’m really very, very careful,” he says.
He is, though, getting over bronchitis when we talked.
But he shrugs and puts that down to the relentless meet-and-greets he regularly attends after his shows.
Donny says his 38-year marriage to Debbie, 57, plays a big part in his happiness. They wed in 1978 when he was 20 and they still enjoy date nights at home in Utah.
“I could spend eight days a week in Vegas but I’ve got a jet and I can be home in an hour,” he says. “It’s a very fast-paced lifestyle but in order to keep my personal life together, which I treasure, I do it. I won’t let anything get in the way of that.
“We are still madly in love with each other, we go on dates all the time. I know it sounds childish.”
Commenting on another peer, Tom Jones, who notoriously cheated on his late wife, he says:
“His wife must have been a saint. I would never have put up with anything like that. Fidelity is the most important thing you can possibly have in a relationship. Without that there goes your trust…… continue reading »»»»»»
Article posted 20 June 2016 by Emily Retter