My Celebrity Life

Sixty Seconds: Merrill Osmond on ‘healing’ his fans over the phone and why he’s still performing at 67

Merrill Osmond said he feels ‘obligated to continue’ to perform as he gets older

The singer, 67, on how his faith kept him from going off the rails at a young age, the success of little brother Donny and focussing on his 15 grandkids.

What was it like being mobbed by adoring fans in your heyday?

It was a crazy time. Some fans wanted to jump in front of our car so they could say they were run over by The Osmonds.

People mailed themselves to us in crates. It was a bizarre but amazing journey.

As your family are Mormons, you didn’t indulge in the sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll lifestyle…

None of us took drugs and none of us had sex before marriage. It was a tough life but we had strict morals and we followed them, and I’m glad that we did.

Mormon values kept the Osmond family on track at the height of their fame in the 1970s (Picture: Chris Capstick/REX)

Will Covid-19 affect your tour next year?

All the promoters and the theatres say it’s going to happen so cross your fingers. It’s called An Evening With Merrill Osmond.

Having sung the lead vocals on most of the hits, I’ll be singing all of them – Love Me For A Reason, Crazy Horses, The Proud One and lots more. I’ll talk to the audience about my experiences and tell a few stories, and perform some of the new stuff I’ve written.

I’ll also be doing a tribute to Neil Diamond, Elvis and Paul McCartney.

Be honest, are there any songs you’re fed up with?

Yes, One Bad Apple. I get tired of singing that one and every time my wife hears it, she gets sick! My favourite is Let Me In. It’s the one that creates a lot of emotion in the audience. They sing along with you and I see tears in people’s eyes when they sing it.

You were the lead singer of The Osmonds yet it was Donny who went on to have an amazing solo career. Were you envious of him?

It was a weird thing. We’d just written The Plan album, which was our version of The Beatles’ White Album. Then all of a sudden the TV networks and the magazines kept forcing the Donny teenybopper thing.

The record company wanted to get behind all of that and that left the brothers in a state of flux. We didn’t feel anger, just frustration, because we had so much more we wanted to give.

Donny Osmond became a solo star (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX)

Will we ever see The Osmonds perform as a group again?

It’s not very likely. Alan and Wayne don’t perform now. Jimmy obviously doesn’t. Donny is planning his own thing and Jay has pretty much gone into retirement so it’s just me.

How is Jimmy doing since his stroke?

When you have that kind of situation it’s always an uphill climb but I can report that he’s doing really well. He’s spending a lot of time with his family and he goes for walks every day.

What has lockdown been like for you?

I used to say that in the 60 years that I’ve been working, I never really, truly had a vacation. I can’t say that now! It sounds crazy but I enjoyed it.

I was at home in Utah with my wife and we had a chance to bond. We haven’t had the opportunity to just talk over the years so we did a lot of that.

I’ve also been writing, reading, meditating, painting and revisiting my journals – catching up with my life story. I’m thinking of doing my autobiography

Jimmy Osmond suffered a stroke in December 2018 (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX)

How did you keep in touch with your fans during lockdown?

People can buy phone calls with me via my website. I’ll do hundreds of those – 15 to 20 a week – and now I’m doing video too.

It costs about $50. Some people are mesmerised and don’t know what to say so the conversations don’t last too long!

Others who call in have huge problems – health or family issues – so I get a chance, in my own way, to give them some thoughts or advice. I love to put my arms around them and give them bear hugs over the phone or through the video link. I love healing.

You’re planning a ‘serenity weekend’ in Britain next year. What’s that?

It’s an opportunity for people to get away from the busy stuff. They will be able to listen to great speakers, and it’s a chance for me to get up and do some talking and reminisce and do some singing.

There are spa treatments and all kinds of recreational opportunities.

Why are you still performing at 67?

Because of the thousands and thousands of people who contact me who say their lives were changed because of our music and what we stood for.

When you get that kind of response you almost feel obligated to continue. Until such time that I can’t do it, I’m going to keep going.

Do you still have any ambitions?

The one thing that was always on my bucket list was to jump out of an aeroplane but I did that.

Being the best grandpa that I can be is the main thing now. I’m putting a lot of effort into that. I have 15 grandkids aged from four to 17.

Merrill Osmond will be touring the UK from February to March, 2021.


Credit: Original article published here.

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