Donny Osmond interview: 'Puppy Love killed my career but I love it now'

29 May 2023, 12:30 | Updated: 10 January 2024, 12:42

Donny Osmond interview: 'Puppy Love killed my career but I love it now'

By Tom Eames

Donny Osmond is one of the greatest pop stars of all time.

From his days as a child singer with his brothers the Osmonds, to becoming a massive teen idol and his incredible comeback in the 1980s, Donny has been through it all.

Donny is back in the UK this autumn with a national tour, fresh from his hugely popular Las Vegas residency.

In a revealing chat, Donny talks about his amazing career, what it meant to be a teen idol, his friendships with Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley, signing an autograph for Paul McCartney, and much more.

He was even treated to a surprise for a 'special' performance of 'Puppy Love'!

Speaking about being a teen idol in the early 1970s, Donny opened up about how the song and that era wrecked his career for a while, but how he has learned to embrace it now.

Donny Osmond in 1975
Donny Osmond in 1975. Picture: Getty

He explained: "Because as popular as I was as the teen idol on those magazines when I grew up, and everybody else did, they kind of left me as yesterday's dinner. I was old stuff, but they didn't realize in their mind, and it's human nature, I grew up, too. So they're 18, 19 years old and what they liked at 13 is kids' stuff. So it took me a long time to break out of that.

"And I think a lot of it had to do with everybody else was growing up. And eventually, they wrap their arms around the past and say, 'yes, I used to like it but, okay, I grew up'. But an interesting dynamic takes place and it happens to me, too, or happened to me, too. Is that all that's for kids.

"Until we all grow up and we realize, 'yeah, it's okay to look back'. In fact, 'Puppy Love' is the fourth song in the set list, and I treat it with respect because I used to... to get a cheap laugh, I would say, you know that part. 'Someone help me. Help me, help me, please'. I would stop the band and said, 'all the guys are throwing up right now', and we'd start again.

"And it would get a laugh, a cheap laugh. But something happened to me, years and years ago when I started doing 'Soldier of Love'. And I didn't do 'Puppy Love' in the set list because I wanted to get away from it.

Gold's Hall of Fame: Donny Osmond

"And the audience members said 'sing 'Puppy Love'!. And it drove me crazy. So finally, in the middle of the show, I just stopped the band. I stopped the show and I said, 'you want 'Puppy Love'? You got 'Puppy Love''. And I turned around to the band off mic, and I said, 'guys, give me a heavy metal version of 'Puppy Love'.

"And the band said, 'yeah!'. And I'm screaming, falling on the stage. But then what happened is, after the show was over, I was walking out the stage door to get on the bus. This fan grabbed me, and she said, 'why did you make fun of 'Puppy Love'? And in a very cocky way, I said, 'well, it's my song. I can do whatever I want to do with it.'

"And then she said 'you may have had a hit with 'Puppy Love', but that song was a big part of my childhood memories, and you have no right to mess with my memories'. And she was right. And I stopped and I realized, 'no, this song doesn't just belong to me. It belongs to everybody else'. So I treat it with respect."

Watch the video exclusively on Global Player here.

Donny Osmond is heading out on a UK tour later this year - get all the ticket details here.

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