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Donny Osmond is turning 60. Here’s a look back at his storied career

SHARE Donny Osmond is turning 60. Here’s a look back at his storied career
Marie Osmond and Donny Osmond perform in their Las Vegas show at the Flamingo Casino. The show has run for nearly 10 years.

Marie Osmond and Donny Osmond perform in their Las Vegas show at the Flamingo Casino. The show has run for nearly 10 years.

Osmond Entertainment

SALT LAKE CITY — Donny Osmond turns 60 years old on Saturday.

And the American singer, actor, radio host and former teen idol is still making headlines, despite not being in the national spotlight.

Here’s a quick rundown of what he’s done recently: Osmond appeared — with 99 fellow-family members — on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in June of this year. He made headlines on social media for sharing a video of the entire Osmond family having a pillow fight on a plane. He went on a nationwide tour with his sister Marie Osmond, earning the appreciation of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert along the way, who named July 11 “Donny and Marie Day.” Their show at the Flamingo in Las Vegas continues to sell well. And the singer does all of this while continuing to promote his family values and Mormon beliefs.

That is nothing new for Osmond — he’s been preaching about family since the very early days of his career.

Osmond’s career spans almost his entire life, from his first TV appearance when he was 5 years old on "The Andy Williams Show" to his days as a teen heart-throb singing "Puppy Love," and now to his hit Vegas show. The singer recently released his 60th album, too, called “The Soundtrack of My Life.”

Osmond was born in Ogden, Utah, where he started singing at a young age. As he wrote for The Guardian, the singer grew up in a show business household. When he was 19, he told his dad he wanted to get married.

“Well, there goes your career,” his dad told him.

Osmond married Debbie Glenn anyway and has said he never regretted it.

“I learned a lot from my parents about loving your children, treating them with respect and allowing them a voice,” he wrote for The Guardian. “Our religion teaches that we are bonded together in eternity, so relationships are very respectful. We value kindness and forgiveness. Debbie and I are religious, but not over-fanatical so we have a firm respect for deity, which holds true in our home."

His brothers — Alan, Wayne, Merrill and Jay — got their start singing at Disneyland as the Osmond Brothers in 1962.

Donny Osmond joined the family group in 1963 on "The Andy Williams Show," and Marie debuted on same show with her brothers singing "Lida Rose" in 1964, according to Osmondmania.com.

But it wasn’t until 1976 that Donny and Marie Osmond teamed up for their own television show, "Donny & Marie," making them the youngest entertainers at that time to have their own variety show. From January 1976 to January 1979, the two hosted scores of musicians, actors and other entertainers each week, performing dance routines, skits and Christmas specials. Guests included Farah Fawcett, Chuck Norris, Tina Turner and many others.

Donny Osmond faded from the spotlight for a time after the show ended. He tried to find success with a 1982 Broadway musical, “Little Johnny Jones,” but the play faced a lot of criticism.

In 1989, Osmond recorded "Soldier of Love" in the U.K., which reached the Top 30 on the record charts.

At the time, Osmond didn't have a U.S. record deal and the song wasn't initially released in the U.S. over fears that Osmond, a former child star, wouldn’t resonate with mainstream audiences, according to The Los Angeles Times. It was Jessica Ettinger, acting program director and music director at ABC's WPLJ-FM in New York, who helped bring the song to the U.S. thanks to listener requests. Osmond ended up getting a deal with Capitol Records and "Solider of Love" reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989.

The comeback hit brought Osmond back into the spotlight, landing him the role as Joseph in Toronto's Elgin Theatre’s 1992 revival of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” He later toured the U.S. with the show, earning rave reviews and solidifying his return to the music world.

Osmond’s next big break came on the game show “Pyramid” where he served as host in 2002.

Searching for his next role, Osmond found an unlikely home on the Vegas strip. Once again, he teamed with his sister Marie, this time at the Flamingo, which started in 2008. Running 90 minutes, the two offer high energy, commanding performances night after night, winning countless awards, including Best of Las Vegas from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Additionally, Donny Osmond continues to perform and record as a solo artist.

In 2009, only a year after starting his Vegas show, Osmond announced that he would be a contestant on the popular ABC show “Dancing with the Stars.” Marie had competed on the show in 2007, finishing third after a season in which she fainted during a performance, according to the Deseret News.

Donny Osmond received high praise for his dance skills, consistently winning over the judges. He and his dancing partner, Kym Johnson, found themselves in second place midway through the season.

Questions sparked about whether Osmond could pull through in the finale. A wardrobe malfunction almost cost him a spot in the finals. He made the finals anyway, taking the prize after a stellar freestyle dance.

"I beat Marie!" Osmond said on "Good Morning America" after winning the season. "I am really proud of this. I am the oldest recipient of the Mirror Ball Trophy."

Recently, Donny and Marie hit the road on a nationwide tour, stopping in Utah along the way.

It was during that stop on July 11 that Utah Gov. Gary Herbert officially declared the date "Donny and Marie Day" in Utah with a signed declaration, the Deseret News reported.

“No matter where life takes them, they manage to find their way home to Utah, where they will always be welcome and appreciated because we are a little bit country and a little bit rock & roll,” the declaration read.