Donny Osmond Preps Holiday Shows, Possible Solo Return
As he reaches the 40-year anniversary of his first solo album, Donny Osmond is starting to think about returning to his own work -- although his long-running residency with sister Marie at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas has stood in the way.
"Nobody knew this 'Donny & Marie' thing was going to kick in like it did back in 2008, when we first started," Osmond tells Billboard.com. "So all of my efforts have been placed into this, and I had to put my solo career on hold for quite some time. I'm thinking in the next couple of years I can focus a little bit more on a solo album."
Osmond -- who will also perform special holiday shows with Marie in Detroit and Chicago during December -- says the Vegas show is contracted through 2012. "They want to go more, but I just don't know if I can," he notes. And if an album does wind up being his next project, Osmond may well have an interesting collaborator -- Todd Rundgren.
"I was going to do an album with him, and it never materialized," Osmond recalls. "Our paths just didn't cross again. But we've met several time and he was serious about it. We started looking for songs and the whole bit, and it just was, 'I'll call you back because I gotta do this...' It was one of those natural things that pulled us apart, but we were ready to go. I thought that would have been a very interesting collaboration...so maybe Rundgren is the right guy."
The Vegas revue, meanwhile, remains top priority. "We've changed it substantially since the opening," Osmond says. "We added more dancing and more singing to it, and I think that's maybe because of the work ethic that we're just used to, the way we were raised. So we haven't dialed it down; if anything, we've dialed it up."
As for the holiday shows, which begin Dec. 1 in Detroit, Osmond says "pick a Christmas song and we're doing it" -- including a new song called "If Every Day Could Be Christmas" that's available at Osmond's web site. "It sounds like a classic," he says. "It sounds like something you've heard before, but it's a new song. When they played it for me I said, 'I gotta put that in the show!' " The tenor of the productions, meanwhile, will acknowledge some of the more serious world issues and current events but present Christmas as a respite from the turmoil.
"You've got to be careful about how you produce a show like this," Osmond says. "With Donny and Marie doing a Christmas show, you really run the risk of having to pass out insulin shots at the end, you know? You've got to be careful you don't put a lot of sugar on top. It's called 48 years of show business and trying to remove yourself from who you are and what you think the audience wants you to be -- although you know some people think they're going to get an 'Osmond Family Christmas' show of the 70s, and you've got to give them a little bit of that but...do something that's a little different and that you're happy with as well."