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donny osmond the pyramid host

Donny Osmond, Host of The Pyramid

Performing since he first walked onto the Andy Williams Show soundstage at age five, Donny Osmond has literally grown up before our eyes. Joining his brothers' act, with hits like "One Bad Apple" and "Down By The Lazy River", then recording his first solo album, The Donny Osmond Album, along with some hits of his own like "Puppy Love" and "Go Away Little Girl" cemented his status as one of the biggest teen idols in the 1970s. Then, with his sister Marie, became the youngest host ever of a prime time variety show, The Donny And Marie Show. It's popularity was instantaneous, and the show lasted for four seasons on ABC. Since then, Donny has never stopped. Recordings, concert tours, TV appearances, racing cars, penning an autobiography, and performing in musical theater,Donny has proven his versatility and has always been unafraid to meet a new challenge when he's faced with it. Donny met a lovely young cheerleader from Provo named Debra Glenn in 1975, and the two dated off an on gradually getting more serious. Donny knew he wanted to marry Debbie, but there were concerns about what it would do to his popularity. He did what was right, and the two married on May 8, 1978. The couple have five children, all sons, and are preparing to celebrate their 25th anniversary in 2003.

After the Donny And Marie Show left the air, Donny laid low and tried to decide what it was he was going to do next. He surfaced again in 1982 in the George M. Cohan musical "Little Johnny Jones" on Broadway. The musical closed the very night it opened.

After a painful bashing by the critics, Donny retreated to Utah. He made several demos, knocked on doors, but was finding that the industry just wasn't shaking that "Donny Osmond - teen idol" image.

A chance meeting with Peter Gabriel at a UNICEF benefit changed all that. Peter recognized Donny's talent, showed a belief in him, and offered to let Donny come to England and do some recording at his studio in Bath. Peter was there throughout the project, albeit peripherally, throwing a random idea out to Donny and giving him the incentive to try new and different things musically, that he might not have tried before.

Peter Gabriel convinced the label he was working on at the time, Virgin, to sign Donny, and they did. The album "Donny Osmond" was released, and Donny worked over there promoting it and making some videos to go with the singles, like "Soldier Of Love", "If It's Love That You Want", and "Groove".

After he came back to the States, and found that Virgin had dropped him, he was almost ready to call it quits.

Donny recieved a call from his manager who told him that a very influential radio station, WPLJ out of New York City, was playing "Soldier Of Love" albeit not saying who the artist was, only saying "mystery artist". The phones were going crazy. Who sings that? What is that song? I love it! Were the common remarks, and the requests for it poured in.

WPLJ decided that it was time to unveil the mystery artist. Donny was a bit nervous about this because he didn't want to kill the requests. But he did go on and reveal himself and quite the opposite happened. The requests kept coming in even when it was revealed that "Soldier Of Love" was by none other than Donny Osmond.

Then the album and single were released here, on Capitol Records, and everything changed. The single went to #2 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, and the beautiful ballad "Sacred Emotion" also claimed a top forty spot on the AC charts.

Donny was back, and starting a fresh new phase of his career. And success was even sweeter the second time around, because Donny worked very hard to achieve it, and his fans rejoiced right along with him. He was finally back on the radio, touring, and he found himself hot property again.

In 1990, Donny released the follow up to "Donny Osmond". Called "Eyes Don't Lie", it contained more songs written by him along with returning producers / songwriters Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken, and adding producers Dave Gamson and Ric Wake to the mix.

This outing was primarily funk and R&B, with a couple of beautiful ballads as well, the strongest of which was "Love Will Survive". Donny toured to promote the release as well as filmed videos for "My Love Is A Fire" and "Sure Lookin'".

In 1992, Donny joined the North American cast of "Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", taking on the lead role of Joseph in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about the biblical story of Jacob and his sons. Donny had wanted to get back into a musical, and the glowing reviews of the musical and of his performance all but made up for the 1982 Little Johnny Jones debacle.

Donny remained in the role for five years, and he filmed the movie version, which was released on video and DVD worldwide in 2000. Now that the video version is all filmed and released, Donny has said that he's "retiring the loincloth". Bidding adieu to a role that he took and made all his much like Michael Crawford did with The Phantom Of The Opera.

Donny posesses a wild sense of humor and has always been known as the practical joker of the family. Quite the daredevil as well, Donny has been known to fly into arenas hanging on the outside of a helicopter or fly on wires high over the audience's heads!

One only had to attend a performance of "Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" to see how much Donny enjoyed the bit where he got to "fly" at the end of the musical! :)

Donny's also a master electrician. He's had a fascination with electricity from a very young age, and started by working on heath kits, evolving to wiring an entire recording studio. He did all the wiring in he and Debbie's home in Utah himself as well.

Did I say Donny was a daredevil? Well, Donny also found he had a love for car racing! He won two races,The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Grand Prix in Long Beach California, and the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix in Denver Colorado. He was even approached by Chevy and asked to race on the professional circuit, and he was this close to doing it when the opportunity in Joseph came along. He even had a pit crew assembled! I'm sure his wife was very happy he chose the musical over the pro racing career! :-D

In his autobiography "Life Is Just What You Make It: My Story So Far", released in 1999 by Hyperion, Donny revealed that during his run in "Joseph..." and for some time before, he'd been suffering from Social Phobia. Social Phobia is an extreme fear of social and public situations. The sufferer fears being judged by others, being ridiculed or doing or saying something that may embarrass him or her. For instance, to someone who suffers from social phobia, the mere thought of going to the grocery store or the mall will cause a panic attack to come on. Donny was introduced to Dr. Jerilyn Ross, the same therapist that helped Barbra Streisand overcome her stage fright and perform before live audiences again. Dr. Ross, through different techniques helped Donny overcome his fears, too. You are never really cured, Donny will probably always suffer a twinge of anxiety from time to time, but... you learn to control your thoughts and feelings in situations that cause this reaction, and are able to face them again.

Having overcome this obstacle, Donny did something he'd wanted to do for awhile... record a Christmas album. Titled "Christmas At Home", and released in 1997 on Donny's own Nightstar label, it was produced by Darrell Brown. The release contained an eclectic mix of contemporary and traditional holiday music. Donny made a couple of appearances on QVC shopping network even performing a couple of numbers from it, and the CD was well recieved.

In 1998, Donny and Marie came back to TV with a whole new show, titled.... well... what else? Donny And Marie! It was talk show this time out,and lasted two seasons. Though the ratings were growing and the show was finding it's niche, even having been nominated for five Emmy awards in it's second year, Columbia Tri-Star decided to cancel it.

After the talk show ended, Donny got down to work again in the recording studio. This time, with reknowned and respected producer Phil Ramone. The result? An album of classic and contemporary Broadway tunes, but with a pop slant and Donny's indelible style. Called "This Is The Moment", the songs were culled from such popular shows as Jekyll And Hyde, Riverdance On Broadway, Saturday Night Fever, Rent, Guys And Dolls, Sweeney Todd, and Little Johnny Jones. Also included was a brand new Andrew Lloyd Webber tune from his newest work The Beautiful Game, called "Our Kind Of Love".

Donny taped a concert special for PBS (Public Broadcasting) to showcase the new release, as well having embarked upon his first real tour since he toured with "Eyes Don't Lie" in the early 90s. The shows were well recieved. The tour continued into the spring of 2002.

Other things that Donny has been doing: he made an interesting and funny guest appearance on the TV comedy "Daddio", joined talented Windham Hill artist Jim Brickman for two years in a row with the holiday portion of Brickman's U.S. tour, popping up on the NBC show "Fear Factor", has hosted the Miss America Pageant with sister Marie, and is slated to host the updated version of the classic game show "The $100,000 Pyramid" starting in fall 2002 in syndication. He's also had the honor of carrying the Olympic torch as it made it's way to Salt Lake City to kick off the 2002 winter games.

In late 2002, Donny released a brand new CD. Titled "Somewhere In Time", it contained covers of favorite love songs such as "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)", "Without You", and "Happy Together" as well as a remake of the old Osmond Brothers hit "Crazy Horses". The CD went Platinum in the UK, and he just finished up a successful tour there. This spring, he's getting ready to embark on the U.S. leg of the tour.

With an incredible career spanning four decades and still going strong, Donny Osmond continues to delight and entertain a whole new generation of fans.

Donny Osmond: Who Can It Be Now?

He's cut his first full disc of his own songs. We spin him songs without showing him who the artist is. Think Donnie knows U2?
At 47, one of the original American idols is taking the biggest risk of his career. What I Meant to Say is Donny Osmond's first album of original songs, and he hopes makes people forget of "Puppy Love" and Pyramid - if only for a little while. It just pay off, too. The disc has something to impress both
curious newcomers and the devotees who fell for his toothy teenage grin. Osmond's croon now bears the influence of his Motown heroes, and his music is not only smoothly seductive, but (whisper it) adult.

For our "Who Can It Be Now" game, we played him a selection of tunes past (Cream, Stevie Wonder) and present (Justin Timberlake, U2) without showing him who the artists were. He kept up fairly well.

Cream -- "Strange Brew," from Disraeli Gears (1967, Polydor)

Donny Osmond: Sounds like BB King or something.

VH1: You're not far off.

Sounds a bit like Lenny Kravitz.

VH1: No, not Lenny Kravitz.

Oh, Cream!

VH1: We heard you were a big fan when you were younger.

I love Cream. I am embarrassed I didn't recognize them!

VH1: How did that album end up in the young Donny Osmond's hands?

I was into a lot of different things at the time - not just rock 'n' roll and Cream, but Tower of Power, P-Funk, that kind of stuff. But my image was sugary and sweet, 'cause that is what we were selling. I was having a lot of fun recording rock 'n' roll with my brothers, but my career overshadowed anything we did as a band.

In 1973, we did an album called The Plan. My brother Alan took a test pressing to this station in L.A. and played it for the program director. He said, "This is cutting-edge stuff ... like Zeppelin, Cream and the Who. Who is it?" Alan said, "The Osmond brothers..." [The PD] was like "Oh, I can't play that!"

VH1: Was there ever a point in your career when you said, "Guys, I've sung the songs you've given me, but here's the music that I really want to make?"

I did an album called Donald Clark Osmond, with Holland-Dozier-Holland tunes. I sucked. I really tried hard, to break out of that mold and sing some soul, but I just wasn't ready for it. If I go back and listen to it, it's OK, but it wasn't right at the time.

VH1: Did Holland-Dozier-Holland write to order, or did they just go, "OK, here are the songs you're going to sing?"

"Here are the songs!" My whole career has been "Here are the songs." Until What I Meant to Say; this new album is like, "Record company, here are my songs."

Justin Timberlake -- "Like I Love You," from Justified (Jive, 2002)

It sounds like Marc Anthony or something. Oh, it is Justin. Do you know who I thought it was initially? He was huge back in England...what's his name...uh, Terence Trent D'Arby! I loved him; I thought he had it all sewn up.

VH1: Whatever happened to him?

He was the next Prince in my mind. That was the problem. It happens so many times, they get so caught up in their own success that they lose perspective on what is good. There are a lot of artists who say, "I am not going to sell out and be commercial..." They may be cool for a while, but they miss the crucial mark -- it's still a business.

VH1: A hit song doesn't necessarily mean "hollow and meaningless," it means you are saying something to me, and I am going, "That's right."

My son went through this whole punk [thing]. He was in a couple of bands as the guitar player. If anything started to become commercial, they would steer away from it. I don't understand that philosophy. There is a happy medium I think. You could go with the Britney Spears route and over-commercialize it, and sell bucket-loads of records. Or you can [try to please] three people and say 'y'know, I am glad that those three people like it..." I'd personally like to be in the middle some place.

VH1: Justin's career is going down the same path yours did. Is there a secret to making that transition from group to solo act to adult artist?

Surviving ... seriously. Because you are going to hit rock bottom and the critics are going to eat you alive anyway. That is the nature of our business. You are only allowed so many mistakes before your career is in the toilet. Justin is on that rollercoaster that I have been on for forty years. He may not sell multi-platinum the next time -- but just keep the quality going. Don't take yourself seriously. I learned that the hard way.

U2 -- "Vertigo," from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Island Def Jam, 2004)

U2. When it first started, I thought it might be some new start-up band, maybe a one hit wonder. I didn't recognize Bono. It was a whole different sound. But it was when I heard the Edge that I recognized it.

VH1: Where did you first hear it? Radio or the iPod ad?

Definitely the iPod ad. I am on my third iPod. I am waiting for Blackberry to be able to link to the MP3s through their OS. When that happens I will be a very happy man, 'cause it is just inconvenient for me to carry around my iPod. I have to keep it in my roll-around bag, I just can't have it on my hip. I think the new 120 song one is cool, but who wants 120 songs? I need 15,000 songs!

VH1: What's the best way to get introduced to new music?

I am constantly sampling on iTunes. I don't listen to critics much, 'cause I have been down that road with my music, and it is really subjective. So I listen to my own ear. I listen to the radio. I listen to my children. I learn about Hoobastank from my kids and Maroon Five from my 19-year-old. He says "Dad, you have to check these out..." So I get it from just living, and every which way I can.

Stevie Wonder -- "He's Misstra Know It All," from Innervisions (1973, Motown)

DO: [snapping fingers] Stevie! [Hums along] Great changes.

VH1: How radical did Stevie's music seem at the beginning of the '70s, when he emancipated himself from Motown?

I don't look at Stevie as a radical performer. I just look at him as a man with great melodies and great chord changes. I remember, "Village Ghetto Land," Songs in the Key of Life. That album changed my life. I wish there were a lot more singers like Stevie. He can interpret a song with so many different calisthenics. Christina Aguilera doesn't have calisthenics, whereas Stevie can just put soul to it.

VH1: She has the ability ...

Yeah, but tone it down a little bit, you know? Sing the melody!

VH1: It might be that the audience is demanding more is more, not less is more.

That's the tail wagging the dog.

VH1: How did Songs in the Key of Life change your life?

It inspired me to sing that way, 'cause up until that time I was learning barbershop numbers with my brothers. I was listening to Perry Como 'cause that is what my mom had in her stereo. I was listening to Andy Williams 'cause that is who we were traveling with, [sings] "The day of wine and roses..."

VH1: Wow, you never got sick of Andy Williams even when The Osmonds were touring with him?

I absolutely fell in love with his voice and wanted to emulate it. Then Stevie came along. The control of Andy and the soul of Stevie really influenced my early years.

Peter Gabriel -- Sledgehammer, from So (1986, Geffen)

[Excitedly as the music begins] Pause it, pause it! OK I want you to play it back and listen to the first line. This was a really interesting learning curve for me. The way Peter records is he goes into the studio with drummer Manu Katche and the bass player and they just start a groove. This is the way "Sledgehammer" started. I asked him, "What are you singing there in that first line?" He said, "Nothing! I took that from the original demo, 'cause it sounded good." Now play it, and listen. He is not saying anything!

VH1: You worked with him, which many thought an odd hookup. Why is he your hero?

Musically he is a genius. He would come in, and drop some ideas while I was producing the Donny Osmond album in '89. They were really weird ideas, but they worked. No. 2, he was really innovative back then, like his live concerts where he used the mirrors. If you ever talk to the man he just looks right through you. He is one of those guys that looks like he is seeing right into your soul.

How did you guys find each other?

It was here in New York. We met backstage at a benefit concert for UNICEF. It's another reason why I admire him so much, 'cause he looks beyond the obvious.

It must have been utterly refreshing for you to have someone come up to you like that and say, "Hey what is going on?"

You have no idea. So refreshing, 'cause it was a very difficult time in my life. He was honest to me. He said, "I don't particularly dig your music, but I think you are a great singer. What are you doing with your recording career?" I told him where I was at and how difficult I was finding it to get over at that point. He said, 'Well, follow me. Come over to England, start cutting music, forget about image."

We mentioned being on the rollercoaster when we talked about Justin. Why do you keep with it -- why are you still looking for those second chances?

I like it. The danger is, when is enough enough? We have seen it many, many times, where people can't get enough. They either blow or burn themselves out, 'cause they just don't know when enough is enough. I think I do. In fact, I know I do. [Performing] is at the core of who I am; it has been since I was like five years old.

Still, I have a wife and kids at home, and I am going there tomorrow. That to me is the stability. If nothing happens to this record it will hurt me tremendously, 'cause I have put everything on the line. I am more vulnerable with this record then any other I have done, 'cause I have written it and produced it. But life goes on.

Donny Osmond comes home to Wales

DONNY OSMOND paid a surprise visit to Merthyr Tydfil last night as he searched for the truth about his family's past.

The 70s heart throb visited the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints in the Georgetown area of the town.

He was in Merthyr Tydfil researching his family roots for a BBC Wales documentary to be broadcast next year.

The Osmonds have strong family links to Wales, which have been traced back to the 1800s, when their ancestors emigrated to the USA.

Research, predominately under- taken by Donny and Olive, the siblings' mother, has managed to track back the family's ancestral line to South Wales.

Their digging has discovered they are the direct descendants of John Davis and Elizabeth Landeck.

They know Elizabeth was born in Llantwit Major in 1800, but have limited information about her husband and where he came from.

They also believe there's some connection to Merthyr Tydfil, which is why Donny was visiting the town yesterday.

Donny said, "I have always wanted to come here, I have researched some places in England, but I always wanted to come to Wales to learn where lines of my family came from."

They know John Davis and Elizabeth Landeck married some time after and Elizabeth gave birth to Thomas John Davis on March 17, 1820, in Neath.

He went on to rehearse with the famous Dowlais Male Voice Choir at the church.

Chorister Mike Edwards said members of the choir were thrilled to sing alongside Donny Osmond.

"We had an extra rehearsal in the church for him," he said.

"He came in and listened and then he actually joined in with us on one or two songs.

"He was here for a short time but it was nice to see him. He was very down to earth and ordinary, and was chatting with the boys in the choir."

The Osmonds revealed their Welsh roots to the Western Mail earlier this year when Merrill Osmond said the family was as "Welsh as Tom Jones and Richard Burton".

He said, "I'm Welsh through and through. My entire family is Welsh - although not a lot of people know it.

"Our mother Olive traced back our lineage to 19th century South Wales before hitting a bit of a dead end with the name Davis, which was her name before she married our father George.

"I've been to Wales many times, but my children and their partners haven't, although they know all about Wales because our family has such an interest in our heritage.

"So we're bringing the whole lot over so they can experience a taste of Wales for the first time," he added.

Heart-throb Donny sings city cafe's praises

A CAFE’S tasty chicken stew is top of the pops with seventies heart-throb Donny Osmond.

And the star was so impressed with catering laid on by Crockertons in Caroline Street, Cardiff, that owner Lynne Toogood could soon be heading off on tour with him.

The singer gave Merthyr Tydfil Library staff a surprise when he called in unannounced last week to research his family tree for a BBC programme.

Lynne, a big fan of the singer as a child, thought it was a joke when the programme director called and asked her to provide the food for his visit to St Tydfil’s Church.

But after getting over the surprise she was delighted to feed the star.

Her mum, retired caterer Glenys Toogood, 62, of Canton, helped make the chicken stew while her 78-year-old aunty Myrtle Owen, of St Athan, cooked some of her great Welsh cakes.

And Donny was so impressed he asked Lynne to provide the catering for his next tour.

Lynne, 36, of Bridge Street, Llandaff, said: "I would certainly go on tour and might take my mum!

"I thought he was a god when I was about eight and had all the albums. The programme director had heard about the cafe and wanted quality wholesome Welsh food. We made the food the night before and on the morning of the visit."

"My mum was cooking the stew at 4am and my aunty Myrtle made the Welsh cakes. She’s an expert after cooking for a large family. He loved it.

"I met him in the vestry of St Tydfil’s Church in Merthyr and he was lovely, really humble. It was surreal. He was sat on a blue plastic chair and had no ego. "He was very complimentary about the food and asked me if I would cater for the tour.

"He has my business card so I’ll just wait and see."

Osmond's Christmas Disapointment

Singer DONNY OSMOND was left disappointed by one Christmas present from his wife DEBRA's family - it was the same thing he had given them five years before.

The Mormon crooner was shocked to find an African statue he had handed to his in-laws, re-wrapped and presented back to him on Christmas day (25DEC).

He says, "It was the ugliest thing you've ever seen. But that's only half the story: it was the same gift I gave them five years before, when I came home from South Africa."

Donny Osmond to play Fritz Feb. 11

A charismatic stage presence, unbelievable voice and a career spanning three decades. Fifty-four albums, Broadway, Television and concerts on every continent on the globe. Combine all of the above, and it's Donny Osmond.

Osmond, who still commands one of the most loyal fan followings of any pop star, will perform at 8 p.m. Feb. 11 in the Chester Fritz Auditorium. Osmond invites the audience to an intimate concert, accompanied only by keyboard, guitar, bass and drum, and a glimpse of his life, passions, his musical repertoire and the extraordinary musical journey that took him from a 6-year-old singing sensation to one of the most recognizable performers in the world.

His most recent album is his most personal yet. "What I Meant to Say," includes the poignant "My Perfect Rhyme," a love letter to his wife, Debbie.

Osmond's updating of a classic bobby Womack song, "Breezin'" already has swept the pop charts in England. Donny's version, "Breezin' On By," is one of the most requested musical downloads on the Internet today.

Donny Osmond's new 54th album

Donny Osmond is back and this time he's bringing something special with him - his very first self-penned album. He's also harbouring a secret ambition.

And this is what Donny Osmond wants to do - scratch that, it's want he wants to do in the future which is, in his language, one step removed from the right here and now.

At the moment he's content to test the waters by releasing his 54th studio album - he "thinks" it's his 30th solo effort - with an experimental twist.

Because number 54 is the first album that he's released as a singer-songwriter.

That's his first step. The second is a little more, well, obscure. But more of that later.

Donny, now 46, reckons he's been waiting for this November for his entire life.

This is the month What I Meant To Say comes out.

"It's taken 41 years," admits Donny, who made his performing debut with the world's first proper boy band, The Osmonds, aged just five.

"But I thought it was very necessary from a personal point of view to do this now, and in the progression of my career, to come out with an album with some original songs."

The man who has spent the lion's share of his life being buoyed by others - he had his brothers in the performing Osmonds clan and admits it took him until last year before he could tour alone without the support of his sister Marie - he hasn't gone completely into independent free-fall.

As such you're not quite sure how much of the songs he actually wrote himself.

On this one he flew ex-Take That singer and chief scribe Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, responsible for penning many of the Spice Girls' hits, to his Utah home to form the core of the creative team.

But Donny says he was "always there"; he was "directing", he was "passionate", and he was "determined" to get his voice heard on this album, albeit not only by singing.

"We would start writing each song in my studio at home, which overlooks my swimming pool," he recalls.

"Then I'd pipe the first verse and the chorus through the speakers that surround the pool and we'd all jump in and write the second verse in the pool.

"You know, I sweated blood over every single song on this album.

"And that means that at last I am singing my own music. That's why I'm so passionate about this record, you know."

And you can't help but believe him.

Two years in planning and 12 months in the making, What I Meant To Say packs a powerful punch.

Still elated after his recent UK top 10 hit Breeze On, which is taken from the new CD, Donny is putting out a collection of songs which should please a new generation of fans. They're a mixture of pop tunes, soppy ballads and catchy potential hits.

There isn't a taste of Puppy Love in sight.

So will his die-hard supporters, the one used to forking out for his records and live shows be disappointed in it?

"I hope not," he says. "It's another step in my career and I think people will like that."

Considering that his solo career harks back to the flared trouser days of 1972, it's hard to believe that this is the first album he's written.

He's not had that many hits in his later years and had a disastrous flirtation with leather and stubble in the 80s.

But Donny's always been around - he's still sang, he's donned a big coat in Joseph, he's a successful quiz show host in America and done stints presenting TV shows in the UK.

That said, however, he's not comfortable using the cover-all term "comeback" to describe his latest musical mission.

"I've never been away, I've just been mixing it up a bit," he confesses. "I could have easily sat on my laurels and produced more pop schlock, but I'm not interested in doing that.

"But there's a fine line between doing what your conscience tells you what to do as a musician and keeping the audience that you've got.

"You've got to strike that balance and remain true to yourself while pushing the boundaries a little.

"I don't think my core audience would want me stray too far from the path but there's nothing wrong with being a little edgier and trying new things out. Writing is me trying that new thing out, but I ain't going too far out there just yet."

Notice the end of that sentence there - and the promise of pushing that candy-coated envelope a bit further in the future."You know what I'd really like to do?"

And aside from suggesting getting his teeth whitened again, I really couldn't hazard a guess.

"Sing with Metallica."

And with that, and in all seriousness, the sultan of schmaltz goes into overdrive about the "wonder" that is the hard rock metal band. "It would be a blast," he adds. "People would love it. It would still look like me and sound like me. But can you imagine it?

"My career is back on track and I'm trying new things, keeping on changing. It's all about me starting to spread my wings."

Which is what he really meant to say to begin with.

Donny's son Brandon Osmond serves '' my heavenly father''

The son of pop heart-throb Donny Osmond last night spoke for the first time of his mission in Scotland.

And Brandon Osmond insisted it's the Mormon Church he's promoting - not his dad's latest release.

He regularly has doors slammed in his face - unless the striking family resemblance is noticed.

Brandon, 19, said: 'If people realise who I am, then I am happy to talk to them about my father.

'But I am not here to promote my dad's latest album. I am here to serve my heavenly father.'

Brandon came to Scotland after his mother Debbie traced her roots to Glasgow.

He has spent the last month in Elgin, Moray, as part of a team of 100 Mormon missionaries in Scotland.

Before that, he was working in Rutherglen, Paisley and Dumfries.

Brandon and a colleague trudge the streets from 10am until 10pm. The job is unpaid, he lives in a sparse flat and he can only contact his family by letter during his two-year mission.

But Brandon - the third of Donny's five sons to become a missionary - has no regrets. He said: 'Sometimes the door is shut in your face, which can be hard to take. But it comes with the territory.'

The teenager shares his dad's love of music. But he has no intention of making it his career.

At the moment, Brandon's performances are limited to singing and playing piano in Elgin's Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

He composes music and plans to contribute several tracks to a CD dedicated to the Mormon Church.

One song, My Heavenly Father, is played at his church meetings.

It's a far cry from the sell-out gigs in the 1970s, when his dad was mobbed by thousands of fans. These days, the Puppy Love singer doesn't attract quite so much attention, although Donny recently had a top 10 hit with Breeze On By.

His new album, What I Meant To Say, is out next month.

Brandon says his old man's success has come at a price.

He added: 'I like music but after seeing what my father has gone through, I know the industry is not for me. It's been quite hard going for my dad.'

Brandon, who came to Scotland from his home in Salt Lake City, Utah, in February, admitted having a famous dad can be an obstacle.

He added: 'When we call on people to tell of our work, they sometimes only want to talk about my father. I have to gently talk them back round to the subject I am here for.'

Brandon expects to be sent to another part of Scotland soon. He doesn't know where yet but his experience, so far, has been good.

He said: 'The people are friendly and have a good attitude to me.'

Douglas Yates, an elder of the Elgin church, said: 'Brandon has a strong belief in what he is doing.

'He's trying to get the message across to people. His family and his father's fame are not important and is something we don't make an issue of.'

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