Donny and Marie Osmond have long been known for being a little bit country and a little bit rock n’ roll. But as they enter five decades in the entertainment industry they are without question still generating a great deal of excitement.
In 2008 the singing siblings were engaged by the Flamingo Casino in Las Vegas for a short six-week stint to perform their unique singing and dancing act. Following rave reviews by critics and other observers in Las Vegas, the dynamic duo are now entering into their seventh year performing at the Flamingo, and even more notably, in a theater that now bears their name in recognition of their achievement in the business.
“I thought as I entered this point in my life that I would slow down a little,” Donny Osmond told us recently. “But I have never been busier in my life.” he added with a hearty laugh.
Little did Osmond know that when he began singing in 1962 at the age of four with his brothers on The Andy Williams Show that he would be doing this for the rest of his life. But that is exactly what happened to the youthful looking father of five (all boys) and grandfather of six.
With The Osmond Family it has always been truly about family in every sense of the word. They have a family motto that it does not matter who is standing or singing up front…as long as it is an Osmond.
Speaking of standing out in front, the other half of the musical duo, Marie Osmond, has never looked or sounded better than she does at this moment, as she is seen nightly performing dance and musical numbers from every imaginable genre. Her voice has grown even stronger through the years as she tackles everything from her country hits to thrilling orations of opera. “I guess that I have an unusual voice that permits me to sing all different genres of music,” Marie related to us, “but I so enjoy singing all styles of music.”
Donny & Marie constantly play before sell-out audiences of appreciative concert-goers longing for pure entertainment and variety, which they do better than anyone in the business.
Their show encompasses a high-tech multi-media component that allows their audiences to relive five decades with the Osmonds and their impressive cast of guest stars who have played the stage and small screen with them throughout the last 50 years.
Warren Bader, an Atlantic City based talent supervisor, said, “Donny and Marie and the Osmond Brothers are truly the first family of entertainment. They have been great for business in Atlantic City, Las Vegas and anywhere else that they play. They deliver the goods each and every time they perform.”
Marie told us that they have been blessed to have worked with the greatest stars of the 20th century, including Lucille Ball, John Wayne, George Burns and Bob Hope just to name a few.
Donny added that it was inevitable that he and Marie would work together again. “There was such chemistry between us with the television series that we were fortunate to have had so much success with,” he said. “So we knew that at some point we would get back together at the right time, in the right location and with the right show to let the people know where we were at today,” he added.
The Donny & Marie Show in Las Vegas has been voted the Show of the Year and Donny himself has been voted the singer of the year for three years running. In 2015 they added another title to their belt that includes the best bargain for a live show in Las Vegas.
Even after five decades in the hectic world of entertainment, Donny & Marie show no sign of slowing down; in fact, they seem to be even more energized as time goes on.
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There really is something for everyone at a Donny & Marie Show. If you like variety style shows, it’s in there. Both Donny & Marie honed their dancing skills on the hit ABC television series “Dancing with the Stars” where Marie became a finalist in 2007 and Donny was crowned the champion in 2009.
Donny credited the dancing show with helping him to reimagine his career. “Reinvention is the key to sustaining a long career in the business. Dancing with the Stars was one of my greatest accomplishments in entertainment and was one of the hardest things I ever did. In fact, I had a meet and greet after one of our shows in Las Vegas just a few weeks ago and a young boy came up to me and said, ‘I didn’t know that you could sing too…I thought you were a dancer,’” Osmond said, chuckling.
Donny has been celebrating several milestones in the recent months. First is his 50th year in entertainment followed by the release of his 60th album, entitled “The Soundtrack of My Life.” Donny said that each track of this album has very special meaning to him. He related the tracks that he selected for the album to key moments in his life and career and the songs that influenced him along the way.
“We went to great lengths to pick songs that had meaning and also ones that we could put an imaginative spin upon,” said Osmond. “Without shaking it up a bit I’d be doing Karaoke style, and I’m not into that,” he added.
Osmond further added that it’s funny how things turn out. “’One Bad Apple’” was actually originally written for the Jackson Five,” said Donny. “And ‘Ben’ was written for me, but I was too busy to record it, so they commissioned Michael Jackson because they thought he had a beautiful high voice too at the time.” So to return the favor on his new album Donny recorded “Ben” in a very smooth jazz-like style.
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Not be outdone by her older brother, Marie is currently working on her own new album, where she will join forces with country music legend Marty Roe for a beautiful song on the new album entitled “Second Chances In Finding Love.”
The title of Marie’s new album could not be more appropriate for where she is at this time in her life. She married her first husband, Stephen Craig, the former star basketball player for Brigham Young University, for the second time in a small ceremony held in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 4, 2011.
“I loved him so much… that I married him twice,” Osmond said at The Borgata Casino in Atlantic City in March 2015. Marie told her life story in the spoken word and with song to a sold-out crowd in a solo show that she entitled “My Life In Music.” The show permitted Marie to truly spread her wings, not only with her many hits, but with a sampling of so many other genres of music as well. Interspersed between songs, Marie allowed her audience into her personal life in a way that she had not done before. “It is about gratitude. It’s about showing my audience that I truly appreciate them and everything that they have done for me and my family through the years,” she added. “I am one of very few people that have been fortunate to have had a career lasting for fifty years,” said Osmond.
“This solo tour was about giving thanks to the two things that I have been able to count on for my entire life, and that is my music and the audiences who have supported me for more than five decades,” said Osmond.
Donny Osmond confirmed that, “Our show in Las Vegas was intended to last for only six weeks and we are now enjoying seven years of performing before these great Las Vegas audiences with no end in sight.”
Donny and Marie are celebrating five decades in entertainment while proving that they have no intention of slowing down any time soon. They continue to demonstrate that they are so much more than “a little bit country or a little bit rock and roll.” They have grown through the years to become a whole lot of undeniable talent.
Photos by Don Hurley