Donny Osmond: You Ask The Questions
Do you believe George Bush is a moral man, and did you vote for him? And have you ever experienced 'puppy love' for real?
Thursday 18 November 2004
Donny Osmond, 46, was born in Ogden, Utah. The day after his sixth birthday, he made his first television appearance with The Osmonds on
The Andy Williams Show. By the age of 16, he had 18 gold discs, making him one of the most successful young pop stars in history. He has continued to record, and has just released his 54th album. In September, he had his first British top 10 hit in 30 years with "Breeze On By". He lives in Utah with his wife Debbie, with whom he has five sons.
Donny Osmond, 46, was born in Ogden, Utah. The day after his sixth birthday, he made his first television appearance with The Osmonds on The Andy Williams Show. By the age of 16, he had 18 gold discs, making him one of the most successful young pop stars in history. He has continued to record, and has just released his 54th album. In September, he had his first British top 10 hit in 30 years with "Breeze On By". He lives in Utah with his wife Debbie, with whom he has five sons.
I believe you have a few slightly overenthusiastic fans. Indeed, one of them is a dear colleague of mine. How do you cope with such adoration? And how do I cope with your name being mentioned a dozen times a day? Help me cope, Donny, please!
Jeremy Moorhead, London
Well, first of all, I love the adoration. That's why you promote - to get people to love your music. So, you cope really well because that's what you're hoping for. My advice to Jeremy is - get over it, buddy.
Can you remember not being famous? If so, prove it.
Bruce Deedes, London
Only just. I have two memories from before I was first on television. One is being in a sandbox with my neighbour, Scott Bramwell. The other is of Hallowe'en and being in a spooky alley. That's it.
How many people have told you they love you?
Brenda Kirk, Edinburgh
Where did the inspiration for the song "Crazy Horses" come from?
Sheila Owen, by e-mail
I called my brother Alan about this because I wanted to get it accurate. It was Alan, Wayne and Merrill who wrote "Crazy Horses". Wayne and Merrill were in the studio and Wayne had started the main riff for the song. Then Alan came in and brought it into a cohesive concept about pollution: the horses being horsepower. Then Merrill added the "crazy" before the horses. It's a very serious song.
How many converts to the Mormon faith are you personally responsible for?
Pippa Stevenson, Maidenhead
I have no idea, but I get at least a million hits a month on the section of my internet site that is dedicated to my beliefs. I've met whole families who have converted to Christianity because of me.
Did you ever experience puppy love?
Virginia Kirby, Plymouth
I did. I was 13 or 14. It was in Las Vegas, and there was this beautiful girl walking down the hall of the hotel. I grabbed her and we started making out. The fireworks were going off - and then my dad showed up so that ruined that. But we kept in touch. I still know her now.
Who's your favourite current teen idol? Justin Timberlake? Usher? Or even Brian McFadden?
Roger Baker, Leeds
In fact, I heard Will Young's voice the other day, and I really liked it.
As the owner of a widely-admired set of teeth, do you sign up to the notion, shared by many of your fellow countrymen, that the British are a dental disaster zone?
Rob Carter, Slough
That's a horrible question. Have you ever seen some Americans' teeth?
You used to do karate as part of your stage routine. Can you still chop a plank with your bare hand?
Ben Harrison, Gosforth
No. I haven't practised karate for 15 years. Back then, when we were a group, if one of us did something we all did it so that we could use it for our act. I could break boards with my hands and feet. The most I got up to was five boards stacked on top of each other. I have a problem with my right wrist because I did too much karate. I have a ganglion cyst that I need to get operated on.
How would you describe the period when you were in your twenties?
Tim Braithwaite, Hove
Not very good. It was a time of rebuilding and reinventing. There were two parts to that: I had to reinvent who I was for me, and I had to re-educate the music industry about who I was. I had to come to terms with the fact that I had sung "Puppy Love", that I had worn the purple socks, that I was the teeny-bopper and no one else. I eventually realised that there was nothing wrong with all of that - except perhaps for the purple socks.
I was very sorry to hear that your mother died earlier this year. What is your most cherished memory of her?
Karen Flemming, Basildon
I carry something that she gave me everywhere - a poem. She wrote it for me on my 20th birthday, about how special her seventh son was. We didn't all get one and it was pretty special. It's very difficult to point to one memory of her. There are so many, but I always remember her with an apron on.
Did you vote for George Bush? And do you think he is a moral man?
Ruth Berry, by e-mail
I did vote for Bush and I do think he's a moral man. But it wasn't the "moral issues", such as abortion and gay marriage, that decided my vote, because I don't think you can legislate on them. I believe the Iraq war and the economy are the biggest issues facing my country.
I was very cynical about the war, but then I spoke to my neighbour, who has close friends in the military. He sent me some e-mails from a soldier who has been in Iraq for the last year. That soldier pointed out that are many positive results of the invasion: schools and hospitals are now up and running. It's interesting that most of the soldiers voted for Bush.
You recently had your first UK top 10 solo hit single in 30 years. Did you believe it would happen again? And how did you react when it did?
Ian Harper, London
You'd better believe I was hoping that single would do well, but you never know. I'll never forget where I was when I found out it was in the top 10. I was in bed, sick as a dog with the flu. The phone rang and my manager told me. And, I tell you, there's nothing like a successful record to cure the flu.
Considering that you have been in the music industry from such a young age, it was good to hear you say that you were a virgin when you married. Do you think virginity should be considered an asset rather than a liability for a man?
Brenda Breslin, by e-mail
Yes, absolutely. But that doesn't mean to say that anyone who isn't a virgin is less of a man. The Lord knew that we would make mistakes and that's why he suffered on the cross.
None of your brothers or your sister has left Mormonism. Have you ever had a crisis of faith?
Jilly Simon, Cardiff
I've never thought that I should leave the faith, but when I was 16, I went through a very inquisitive phase. I thought: "I'm such a hypocrite. I call myself a Mormon and I've never read the Book of Mormon. I call myself a Christian and I've never read the Bible." But then I read both those books cover to cover and that confirmed my faith.
Donny Osmond's new album, 'What I Meant to Say', is out now on Decca
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