In a recent interview with HuffPost on February 16, Donny Osmond recalled his longtime friendship with King of Pop, Michael Jackson. While speaking to Nancy Redd, he said:
“Back in the early ‘70s, it was the Jacksons and the Osmonds. It was Michael and Donny. We were kind of, like, parallel.”
The duo were from large families and were born as the seventh child in families of nine. Their mothers also shared the same birthday.
Donny Osmond remembers the last conversation they had before Michael’s death in 2009. It was a year before the artist’s death and is the most suggestive of how their lives have changed throughout the years. Osmond mentioned:
“He said, ‘Please don’t tell anybody, but I rented one of those big custom buses, those touring buses, and I took my kids. We’re hiding in Phoenix right now.’ Hiding from the press because everything had hit the fan.”
The actor also offered some advice to Jackson, saying that since it is a nine-hour drive from his home to Utah, the latter can bring his kids and no one will know they are there. He added that they can swim in the swimming pool and have some normalcy in their life.
However, the trip never happened and Osmond said:
“And he said, ‘You know what Donny, I think I’m going to do that.’ And he never did.”
Donny Osmond and Michael Jackson’s friendship
Donny Osmond is a happy person today with a family of five sons, 12 grandchildren, and his wife, Debbie. However, there was a phase in his life where he had several problems in his life and Michael Jackson came to his rescue.
In an interview with Page Six, the 64-year-old spoke up about his friendship with Michael, stating that they met as kids performing with their brothers in 1971 in Toronto. Donny recalls:
“I remember seeing Michael peeking out the side of the curtain watching me during the show. In hindsight, that was a pretty amazing moment, but at the moment it was like, ‘There’s my buddy looking at me stage right’. It’s really difficult talking about … these two little teenagers who are just selling amazing amounts of records and having number-one records and very powerful recording artists, and all they want to do is just be kids.”
Osmond and Jackson remained in touch and even got together after adjusting their schedules.
The former recalled going to see the movie The Dark Crystal together and insisted that Jackson wear trench coats, wigs, and sunglasses as a disguise. Donny Osmond admitted that they were trying to be normal, although everyone recognized them.
The White & Nerdy star’s career suffered a huge blow in 1980s while Michael’s new release Thriller became a huge hit. Donny was the first to hear it and then asked Jackson how to make a comeback.
The musical star then replied by saying that Osmond must change his name, which was disliked by the latter. However, he realized a few years later that it was good advice and said:
“But what’s interesting is that he told me that in ’83, and it wasn’t until 1989, that (Osmond’s hit) “Soldier of Love” became a hit without my name. So Michael was right.”
Radio DJs did not agree to play Donny Osmond's tracks, although the song was good. They still played it and did not reveal anything about the singer until the track was a hit. Donny said:
“The greatest thing that ever happened to me was I lost my career. And it’s so strange for me to hear me say that because the ‘80s were the worst decade of my life because I didn’t have a career.”
As mentioned earlier, the last time they spoke to each other was a year before Jackson’s death in 2009.