Donny Osmond looks back at his 'lonely' teen idol years: 'This business can eat you up'
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Being a teen idol can be pretty isolating.
"I was just so lonely," the 63-year-old admitted. "You go back to the early 1970s and you’ve got literally thousands of screaming girls at those concerts yelling your name, but then you go back to a very quiet hotel or the bus. I learned what loneliness is in life."
In his decades-long career, the singer has earned 33 gold records and sold over 100 million albums. In September, he’ll be releasing his 65th album, titled "Start Again."
Donny Osmond of The Osmonds performs on stage circa 1972. (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images)
And Osmond’s life these days is far from lonely. The outlet noted that today, he is a proud husband, father of five and a grandfather. He and his wife, Debbie Osmond, originally tied the knot in 1978.
"She’s been my saving grace," he said. "My confidante and friend. [One] night, we were out in the garden talking as we were pulling weeds and watering plants. In its own little way, it was a very romantic evening."
And while Osmond is gearing up to headline his Las Vegas shows in August, the star called Utah his private oasis.
"I have fruit trees that I planted in my orchard – one for each of my grandchildren," Osmond explained. "We have [an] apple, peach, nectarine, pear and cherry. When they come over, they like to go check the tree out. When I’m working really, really hard in the studio or I’m getting a little frustrated, I walk out, go in the garden, spend an hour and get back to nature. I built these massive waterfalls in my backyard, so I turn them on and I go to paradise."
Donny Osmond is a proud husband, father of five and a grandfather. He and his wife, Debbie Osmond, originally tied the knot in 1978. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Still, Osmond is eager to take on the stage solo. He and his sister Marie Osmond shared a residency in Sin City that was originally intended to run for six weeks but lasted 11 years due to its popularity. According to the outlet, more than 900,000 fans had seen it by the time it ended in 2019.
"When we are on stage together, we can come up with improv lines that just crack each other up," said Osmond. "[But] the Donny and Marie show is over. We might get together and do some one-offs, but that was a very special moment in our lives, and now I am on to the next stage."
And Osmond insisted he isn’t nervous about taking the Vegas stage alone.
"Not at all," said Osmond. "In fact, I wish we could start today! I’m very, very excited. I feel that I have had three careers - with the Osmond Brothers, as Donny and Marie and solo."
American pop idol Donny Osmond signs autographs for a handful of admiring fans, circa 1974. (Photo by Tim Graham/Evening Standard/Getty Images)
"I was about 12 when I decided that this is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life," he shared. "I had other options, but this has always been my dream and my goal. To have an opportunity to headline with my own show on the Strip is a lot of pressure, but I’ve been doing this for 60 years and I have a plethora of repertoire."
And this time, Osmond added that he won’t go back to an empty hotel room. Instead, he’ll be heading home to his wife and family.
"This business can eat you up, so I try to live as normal a life as I possibly can," said Osmond. "Yesterday, I had so much to get done, but the kids were all swimming in the pool. I said no, the work can wait."
Back in January, Osmond's sister Marie confirmed to Fox News that she won’t be reuniting with her brother on stage – at least anytime soon.
Donny and Marie Osmond during their final performance at Flamingo Las Vegas on November 16, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage/Getty Images )
"You know, we’re just moving in different directions," said the 61-year-old at the time. "I love him. I’m happy for him, but I’m really loving producing and filming now. And we’ve always done our own careers. Hey, Vegas was supposed to be six weeks and it ended up being 11 years. They told us, as we left Caesar’s group, that more people came to our shows and watched them than Celine Dion and Elvis Presley combined. And we did more shows than they did. That’s nuts!"
"It was just supposed to be six weeks," Marie continued. "But we’re in different places musically right now. Donny’s a crooner, and he’s great. And I’m so happy for him. But [those shows] take a lot of time and commitment that is hard for me to do right now. I can’t do other things if I lock in a residency. But he will always be my Donny."