Donny Osmond has lived his entire life in the spotlight, becoming a star entertainer as a child. Through his collaboration with his brothers in The Osmonds and the monumental success with his sister in Donny & Marie, he has become somewhat of a national hero.
Though, aside from his extreme success and loving family life, Osmond has also had some very tough years. His mental health forced him off stage, and in later years, he was worried he wouldn’t be able to walk because of problems with his neck and spine.
Still, the longtime entertainer has begun his new Las Vegas residency, even though fans received the sad update that some of his shows would be postponed. But now, in the middle of his health battle, Donny Osmond shares some family news that has left fans more than just excited.
Donny Osmond hadn’t even turned six before he was a professional entertainer. Born in Ogden, Utah, on December 9, 1957, right away, he and his older siblings rose to fame as the Osmond Brothers. They became a regular act on The Andy Williams Show – and the family decided to move to Los Angeles to give the children the best chance of becoming stars.
Danny Osmond – early life
Andy Williams became the most important person at the beginning of Danny and his brother’s careers, as he found them and gave them a shot.
“They went to Disneyland. And they were singing on the streets of Disneyland — or they were the walking the streets. And there with this barbershop quartet that saw my brothers dressed alike,” Donny Osmond told CNN in 2005. “And they thought, ‘You look like a barbershop quartet, cute little kids.’ They said, ‘We sing once in a while.’ And they sang them a song. And then this quartet sang my brothers a song, went back and forth, and it was almost like an attraction on the streets, all these people gathered around.”
In the ’70s, Donny Osmond was beyond groovy. He had begun his career singing alongside his older brothers when he was five. A decade later, Osmond had a successful solo career. He was also a full-fledged teen idol, with his photos plastering the walls of his young fans.
Donny Osmond has lived pretty much his entire life in the spotlight. Becoming a child star was, of course, the dream of many children worldwide. However, at the same time, it also came at a price.
He explained that as you try to keep grasping at early success and don’t realize you have to “recreate yourself,” it’s tough. Moreover, Osmond explained that the hype suddenly becomes a reality, and the yes-saying people create a reality around him that isn’t necessarily true.
In Donny’s case, however, his family became a haven for him to be “just” Donny.
“You eat your breakfast just like anybody else”
His religion was also crucial.
“Thank goodness I had a great family growing up, a great foundation. But I will say my faith, my parents, my family, all that stuff is very, very important. And I’ll say that until the day I die. But I think the most important ingredient to survive is self-determination, not to fall into that trap,” Donny Osmond told CNN.
He continued, “You’re an island no matter what you do. I think it’s very dangerous to use popularity as your identity in life. So you have to really know who you are inside, the core person, and follow what is true rather than follow what is hype.”
“And that’s so hard when you’re involved in all of this excitement, this screaming, and everything like that. They’re screaming for an image, you know. And then you go home, and you put your pants on just like anybody else. You eat your breakfast just like anybody else. You’re just like anybody else.”
By 1976, The Osmonds were no longer producing hit singles but had already released 16 albums.
When Marie became Donny’s duet partner, a new popularity emerged that would catapult the young brother-sister duo to international stardom.
When the siblings started performing together, teenage idol Donny’s face was on almost every newspaper. That in itself took its toll on Donny, who was forced to deal with a tremendous amount of pressure.
Donny Osmond, Marie Osmond
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
In 1976, the two Osmonds transitioned into television thanks to the rise of the variety show Donny & Marie. At that time, Marie noticed something was wrong with her brother. She thought it was stress symptoms. But it was actually serious mental health problems.
Donny Osmond’s health struggles – breaking stigma on mental health
As Donny & Marie suddenly was canceled in 1979, Danny embarked on his solo career. However, mental health problems still followed him around.
He focused on country music; however, changing from a teenage crowd to an adult wasn’t easy. Osmond felt that he had to be “even greater to be perfect,” always putting on a perfect performance every night. While in Minneapolis, things got to a point of no return, and Donny Osmond suffered a panic attack.
He recalled laying in bed, shaking, and he knew something was wrong. His wife took him to the hospital, and when speaking about the scary event, Donny almost broke down in tears.
“I collapsed. [I was afraid of] failing, of making a mistake,” he said
Donny Osmond got help from Jerilyn Ross, President of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. To her, it was clear that he suffered from a social anxiety disorder. He managed to face his fears and return to the stage, even though he once said he didn’t think one is ever cured from, but rather something “you “learn to deal with” and “learn to handle.”
The screaming from the crowd was something Danny Osmond never got tired of. But at the same time as he had grown up, his fan base had done the same. It became apparent in the 1980s as he embarked on his solo career, and the fans didn’t show up.
“When I lost my career in the ’80s.. it was horrible,” Donny Osmond told Yahoo. “I can’t find the words to tell you what the feeling was of being rejected after selling out stadiums and all this stuff, and then playing half-filled high school gymnasiums. I mean, it’s just horrible.”
“I couldn’t get arrested”
He recalled feeling unwanted – and at that point, his anxiety struck.
“I couldn’t get arrested,” he says. “Couldn’t get a record deal, nothing.”
Things would undoubtedly improve despite a brutal dip in Donny Osmond’s career. In 1989, he released Soldier of Love, which reached No.2 on the Billboard pop charts, and the follow-up single, Sacred Emotion, reached No.13. His career flourished once again. After some television work, he began one of his biggest successes in modern times with a Las Vegas Residency.
In 2008, Donny reunited with his sister, Marie, as they began their residency at the Flamingo Resort in Las Vegas. They did six shows a week, lasting a staggering 11 years before ending in 2019.
In later years, Donny Osmond has sadly had new health issues. It began after his performance in Dancing with the Stars in 2009, which he won. But it took its toll on his body.
His spine had shifted due partly to injuries sustained when he won the 2009 season of the dancing contest. Osmond underwent back and neck surgery and everything seemed okay then. However, what came next would be a shock.
Donny Osmond had no idea that the rehab and recovery would take months. He returned to his Utah home, where he spent a lengthy period relearning how to walk.
“I thought everything was going to be fine, but it couldn’t have been worse,” Donny explained. “I got a secondary infection, which meant I wasn’t able to move.”
Danny Osmond shares news on new ‘Osmoond family’ documentary
The rehabilitation took Donny several months, and he had to rely on a walking frame to get around. He became increasingly worried that he would never be able to walk again.
“It absolutely crossed my mind. But I just didn’t take no for an answer,” Donny told the Mirror.
Danny Osmond has extended his Las Vegas stay with a new residency at Harrah’s Showroom until 2024. Sadly, he had to cancel two shows last week due to illness.
Osmond has not disclosed what kind of illness. However, he decided to “apologise” for any inconvenience and told his fans he “appreciated” their understanding.
While fans missed out on Donny Osmond’s shows in Las Vegas due to his illness – and those millions worldwide who don’t get the opportunity or might not have the money to afford a ticket – some other Osmond material is coming their way.
On Instagram, Donny Osmond shared some fantastic news about his Osmond family as a new documentary about them, titled The Osmonds: Faith, Family, and Fame, was to air during the October 2023 general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Donny Osmond, Marie Osmond
Larry Marano/Getty Images
“Osmonds: Faith, Family, and Fame is a heartwarming documentary that gives an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look inside the hearts and minds of the iconic Osmond Family. Through rare archival footage and intimate interviews with all 8 siblings, this documentary explores the challenges and triumphs of their extraordinary journey. From their humble beginnings as a barbershop quartet in Utah to their enduring fame with worldwide reach, this family has been a part of the entertainment scene for over 60 years,” local Salt Lake City, Utah, network KSL, who aired the documentary, wrote.
Donny Osmond has previously shared that he will likely never reunite with his brothers on stage. However, he was more than happy to share the news of the documentary.
“I am so excited to share that the Osmond Special: Faith, Family and Fame will air this Sunday, October 1 at noon, Mountain Time on KSL. It is a beautiful portrayal of my family’s success, challenges, and faith. Can’t wait for you to see it,” Osmond wrote on Instagram.
Fans quickly joined Donny in the excitement for the documentary on his Instagram page.
“Looking forward to watching this,” one person said.
“Can’t wait to see this ! Will be amazing to see you all,” another gushed.
“Waiting patiently,” a third stated.
“Wow so excited!!” a fourth wrote.
While fans were happy that the new documentary was out, many also worried that they wouldn’t be able to watch it, as it was broadcast on a local TV network. Luckily, KSL has posted it on YouTube for anyone to watch
If you enjoyed this article on Donny Osmond, perhaps you’d be interested in reading this article about Marie Osmond’s daughter Rachel, who might just be the most beautiful woman in the world.
We will forever hold Donny Osmond close to our hearts. Please share this article on Facebook with friends and family if you also enjoy his music!