Donny and Marie bring 1st studio album in 30 years
LAS VEGAS – On the final track of their new album – their first together in 30 years – Donny and Marie Osmond give a nod to difficult times.
“Sun follows rain, strength follows pain,” the duo sings before echoing the song’s title. “We will find a way.”
It’s a motto that Marie Osmond has taken to heart over the past year. She’s still grieving after her son Michael Bryan committed suicide in Los Angeles in February 2010.
“Some days are harder than others, and you take it one day at a time,” she said recently. “Yeah, those anniversaries are tough – it’s coming up his birthday here in a few days.”
But while Marie Osmond, 51, is still mourning the loss of her son, she is also marking a period of rebirth. She wed her first husband, Stephen Craig, on Wednesday, on what have been the birthday of Michael and her late mother Olive. Craig and Osmond were originally married in 1982 and have one son, Stephen.
Also this week, she and her brother Donny released “Donny & Marie,” which has them revisiting their country roots. Marie Osmond rose to her own fame as a country artist in the 1970s, with her hit “Paper Roses” reaching No. 1 on the country charts in 1973.
Marie said the timing felt right for a new album because fans were asking, and they found good songs and collaborators. The album was produced by Buddy Cannon, a country producer known mainly for his work with Kenny Chesney.
“He’s so good to work with in terms of the selection of the songs and finding the songs that work with our voices,” Donny, 53, said. “It was a pleasure to work with him.”
Between numerous TV appearances and their live Las Vegas show, slated to run through the end of next year, the Osmonds have proven that they’re still in demand after several decades of performing. During a half-hour appearance last month on home-shopping network QVC, the Osmonds sold 10,000 copies of their new album in 30 minutes, their whole allotment for the show.
Both Osmonds said it made sense to connect with fans on a personal level with the album. During a performance last week in Las Vegas, Marie recounted a story of being with two mothers whose children were donor and receiver of a heart transplant.
“Little did I know at that time what it would feel like to lose a child,” Marie said before dedicating a song to her son.
Marie opened up about the death in a November appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s television show, saying her son’s suicide was “probably the hardest thing” she’s been through.
It was the most serious blow after a series of setbacks. In 2007, when she placed third on “Dancing with the Stars,” she famously fainted on the show as she dealt with personal troubles off of it.
“Emotionally, you have to be really pulled together and I was going through a divorce, my son went into rehab, my father died,” Marie said last week.
“Going into the finals, it was tough – my dad – it kind of ripped my heart out it was just really tough to focus.”
Marie and Donny Osmond include some of their own personal stories in their Las Vegas show. They feel especially connected to their fans, who have watched the most famous siblings from the Osmond entertainment clan grow up since they were kids, including their highly successful “Donny & Marie” variety show in the late 70s.
“There are times when people come up … and they feel like you’re part of the family because we were in their homes every week,” Donny said. “We grew up with it. I hear that all the time: ‘We grew up together.'”
“And then I say: ‘We never grew up,'” Marie said.