We had the pleasure of interviewing musical legend Donny Osmond and with such a long and varied career, we had so much that we wanted to talk to him about, where do we even start?
Gracing the world’s stages since he was just 6 years old as part of the Osmonds, Donny has clocked up an incredible 50 years in showbiz, which he is celebrating with the release of his latest album – Soundtrack Of My Life, which is to be released early next month.
The album is his 60th release and it features songs that for many different reasons holds a special place in his heart. Donny is the ultimate all round entertainer and also a complete gentleman, full of charm and old fashioned manners.
In our interview we talked about Donny’s new album, his upcoming guest stint on Strictly and more.
Hi Donny, how are you doing today?
I’m doing good, I’ve been very busy. But tomorrow the schedule loosens up a little and I can start to get excited about being a guest judge on Strictly Come Dancing and figuring out how I’m going to be judging on the weekend.
Are you looking forward to seeing Bruno and Len again on Strictly Come Dancing? (Donny has previously been a judge alongside them, on America’s Dancing with the Stars).
Oh, I can hardly wait!
Are you going to be the nice judge? Have you heard that Craig can be quite cutting with his comments?
Yeah, we’ll see. But I don’t think anyone can be as mean as Craig!
You’re over in the UK promoting your latest album – Soundtrack of my Life and each track holds a great memory for you. Can we start with the chosen song My Cherie Amour and your relationship with Stevie Wonder?
Well, having Stevie on my album was a dream come true. Having Stevie Wonder playing harmonica on the album felt like such a long shot, but I called him up and he said send me an MP3 of the track and let me hear what it sounds like. This man is my musical hero and when his assistant called me back and said that Stevie in on the line and would like to speak with you, my heart almost stopped you know? Then he got on the phone and said please send me the track immediately, I’ve got to be a part of this album. It was amazing. I consider him a friend.
The song Ben (made famous by Michael Jackson) was originally written for you, but you were unable to record it at the time, due to touring commitments that you had on. How do you feel about the version that you’ve made on the album?
Oh, I absolutely love it. That was one of the first songs that I decided I wanted to do and what inspired the whole concept of this album. This song has such special meaning in my life. When Michael was with us, he and I would talk about it all the time.
Can you tell us a bit about Survivor, which is a song that you’ve co-written for the album?
It was an easy song to write, in that I knew what I wanted to say. The lyrics are very much focused towards the industry and not the fans, not the people who have followed me around my whole career, but to the recording industry, that’s who I’m speaking to.
One of our favourite songs on the album is Gift of Love.
Oh, I’m so glad to hear you say that. It’s my wifes favourtie’s song. You know the story about that song, it was meant to be Tony Bennett’s song. The songwriters heard that I really loved the song and finally, they said OK, you can have it!
You’ve got quite a few British acts on there and we really enjoyed listening to your version of the The Long and Winding Road by The Beatles, what’s the significance behind that song for you?
Well, I absolutely love The Beatles and I chose that song, because it was my favourite Beatles song and also it was significant to the Beatles, as it was their very last song.
We felt quite relaxed and joyful after listening to the album, what was the intention when you first created the album?
You always have an idea what you’d like to create and go with it, but you don’t really know how it’s going to turn out. It’s almost like a painting, you sit there with a canvas, but you have a picture in your mind, but the end product is not anywhere near or what exactly what was in your mind, but this is the closest to how I wanted it to turn out.
It’s incredible that this is going to be your 60th album. Do you think there will be a solo tour to coincide with the album?
Yes, as a matter of fact we’re trying to put that together right now, with the intention on hopefully taking it on the road next summer and we’d love to bring the show over to the UK and to see all my UK fans over here.
What’s been the highlight of your trip this time around in London? I know that you’re cramming a lot in, in the week that you’re over here.
It was fun to be a part of the Pride of Britain awards, I’ve just finished doing the Sunday Love Songs show on Radio which is going out on Sunday and on that show I’m going to be playing a song from the new album. Loose Women is coming out next week and my appearance on the Alan Titchmarsh show, but I think that the highlight might be Strictly.
You play 5 shows a week in Vegas, how do you divide your time between Vegas and your home in Utah?
Oh, I go home to Utah all the time. It’s only an hour flight to Vegas, so it’s not far at all really.
Speaking of which, you have just won for the third consecutive year, the Best of Las Vegas Award for your show. Considering all the amazing shows in Vegas, you must be very proud of that achievement?
Oh, you have no idea. Like you just said, there are so many great shows there. To get the accolade of best show in Las Vegas? You just can’t ask for something better than that.
How would you describe the show which you put on there with your sister Marie, to the UK fans who might not have had a chance to go over and see the show?
There’s a lot of singing, a lot of dancing, a lot of multimedia, a lot of variety. You can’t just get up there and sing a bunch of songs and expect to get the best show in Vegas award, it’s got to be very exciting and very entertaining. There’s only one show to check out in Las Vegas, the Donny and Marie show! (Loud belly laughs). Is that an egotistical statement or what!? (Laughs further).
That’s an awesome and confident statement, backed up by the awards you’ve won! Can we ask if you’ve seen the show The Book of Mormon, which is now over here in the UK?
No, I’ve actually never seen it. But I have read the book! (laughs).
We also hear that you’re a bit of a tech geek, is that true?
Oh yeah, I love social media! It’s true. I’d like everyone to know that they can get in touch with me and follow me on facebook and also via my twitter handle: @donnyosmond
We’d like to congratulate you on the fact that this is your 50th year in showbiz. Can you believe it?
I can’t believe it’s been 50 years, it has gone by so fast. But when I stop and look back at all that I’ve done, it seems more like a 150 years! I have to say that this album is a pretty big highlight, to reach this type of pinnacle s a hallmark year, it’s a hallmark year. I’m very lucky, very fortunate, very blessed to even be sitting here and being interviewed and being able to say that I’ve been around in the business for 50 years and this is my 60th album. It’s probably the biggest highlight that anybody could ever ask for.
Donny’s new album The Soundtrack of My Life is released on 10th November 2014.