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The Osmonds Members: See the Musical Family Then and Now

It’s long been a fun, family affair for one of America’s most popular sibling acts!


The way Marie Osmond has always seen it, there’s not “One Bad Apple” in her family. “Of course I consider myself the luckiest girl in the world to be able to call Virl, Tommy, Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay, Donny and Jimmy my brothers,” the then preteen wrote of The Osmonds members in a November 1971 column she collaborated on for Tiger Beat magazine. “Whenever I need advice from an older brother, I don’t have to look very far because I’ve got seven of them who would try to help me in any way they could! And naturally, there is little Jimmy who’s got the kind of smile that melts people’s hearts.”

Of course, most of those brothers would go on to score a string of hits in the 70s, including “Down By the Lazy River,” “Yo-Yo,” “Love Me for a Reason,” “Double Lovin’,” and “Crazy Horses,” before Marie would partner with the purple-sock-wearing one for their wildly popular Donny & Marie show, which ran from 1975 to 1979.

“We’ll always be together,” Donny insists during the opening of their very first show, to which Marie quips, “Because you can’t divorce your brother,” setting the state for their playful sibling rivalry throughout the series — and life. “When she hit me with pies and hit me in the stomach or slapped me, it was all natural. It was all organic. I think a lot of people really related to that in families and it was all in fun,” Donny told Entertainment Tonight of the secret to their success.

Donny and Marie
Donny and Marie Osmond (1970) Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty

For the better part of the past 48 years, the duo, who’ll always be “A Little Bit Country-A Little Bit Rock ‘N Roll”, have stayed as thick as thieves, teaming up for a daytime talk show from 1998 to 2000 as well as an impressive, award-winning 11-year residency at The Flamingo in Vegas.

“I miss working with [Marie] because we had such a rapport onstage, but that whole era is passed,” Donny notes about the chances of another big project with his kid sister, though, he adds, “I have been in this business for a long time. I learned to never say never.… Revisiting the Donny & Marie thing, it would have to be the right thing.… Maybe a one-off.”

Osmond fans can always light a purple candle and hope for that reunion. Until then, here’s a look at what all The Osmonds members have been up to through the years.

The Osmonds then and now

Donny Osmond

Donny Osmond ; The Osmonds members
1970/2023 The Osmonds MembersMichael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty // John Lamparski / Contributor / Getty

As one of the Osmonds members with the highest profile, it’s no wonder that Donny, now 66, launched a successful solo career in the 70s, winning fans with covers like “Go Away Little Girl” and “Puppy Love.” His music career reignited in the 90s with his hits “Soldier of Love” and “Sacred Emotion.”

Donny conquered the stage in the 90s as the lead in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Raincoat, as well as film, voicing Shang in 1998’s Mulan and singing its popular “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”

He then hosted TV’s revival of Pyramid in the early 2000s before lighting up Broadway in 2006, playing Gaston in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. In 2009, he and partner Kym Johnson even nabbed the mirrorball trophy on Dancing With the Stars. He almost proved victorious in his second reality series outing, but in 2019 he was revealed to be the proud Peacock runner-up on the first season of The Masked Singer (placing second to rapper T-Pain). “I had the time of my life here. It’s better than being Donny Osmond,” he enthusiastically reported after he doffed his headpiece.

While performing with Marie at their long-running Flamingo residency in Vegas, the entertainer somehow found time to launch a home decor line called Donny Osmond Home with his wife Debbie. The couple, who’ve been married for 45 years, are the proud parents of five kids and 14 grandchildren.

In 2021, he released Start Again, the 65th album of his six-decade career, during which he’s sold over 100 million records. Currently, he’s performing his extended solo residency at Harrah’s in Vegas through May.

Marie Osmond

Marie Osmond ; The Osmonds members
1970/2020 Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty //Jon Kopaloff / Stringer / Getty

She’s been in show business since the age of 3, so Marie, now 64, is not surprisingly one of the Osmonds members with the longest resume. She was just 12 when she recorded her debut album, 1973’s Paper Roses, which hit No. 1 on two of Billboard’s charts. She was the youngest to achieve that honor, and she was also the youngest female to ever co-host a TV show when she and big brother Donny stormed the airwaves in 1976. The gifted singer has released more than a dozen albums over her career, picking up a CMA Award in 1986 for her No. 1 duet with Dan Seals, “Meet Me in Montana.”

In 1991, she launched an award-winning porcelain doll collection on QVC, then set her sights on Broadway, starring in The King and I from 1994 to 1995, then as Maria in The Sound of Music in 1997. Back on TV, she starred in 1995’s short-lived sitcom Maybe This Time as a single mother facing pressure from her mother, played by Betty White.

In 2007, the same year she started her long-running partnership with NutriSystem, Marie finished third on Dancing With the Stars, which is what inspired Donny to test his skills out a couple years later. “I can’t let my sister upstage me,” he quipped at the time. By 2012, she’d returned to the daytime talk show circuit, hosting Marie for the Hallmark Channel, and from 2019 to 2020 she sat at the hosting table of CBS’s The Talk.

Beyond the entertainment world, Marie’s definitely left an impressive mark, co-founding in 1983 the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, helping to raise more than $7 billion dollars to date and providing 32 million treatments each year to kids. And in 2008, she received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, the second-highest award presented to private citizens, largely in honor of her longstanding work performing with the USO and Bob Hope.

Her most recent studio album, Unexpected, dropped in 2021, and it included classic songs, Broadway tunes, and even opera! “This album is my thank you to [my fans],” she told People, adding that recording it was cathartic in some ways, difficult in others. “My son Michael loved it when I practiced [“Pie Jesu”]. I sang for him, in honor of him,” she noted of her child, whom she lost to suicide in 2010.

Having remarried her first husband, Stephen Craig, in 2010, Marie is a mom of eight and a grandma to nine. The energetic entertainer, who did a three-episode stint last year on the CBS soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, is still out on the road performing, but she’s blissfully more invested in her personal life than her stage life these days.

I have quite a portfolio. I’ve done pretty much everything you can do in this business,” she recently told Lancaster Online, “but I can honestly say that when I’m at the end of my life, it’s not the platinum albums or the awards that are going to comfort, it’s my children and grandchildren, and hopefully great-grandchildren. Those are the things I want to focus on more.”

Jay Osmond

Jay Osmond
1970/2011 The Osmonds MembersArt Zelin / Contributor / Getty // Alexander Tamargo / Contributor / Getty

The youngest member of the original Osmonds barbershop quartet (himself, Alan, Wayne, and Merrill), Jay, who is now 68, has been performing since the age of 2. He and his brothers performed for Andy Williams, who helped discover them, on his TV show for eight years, during which Donny was introduced into the group.

After the boys toured the world, Jay, their talented drummer and singer, started producing the Osmonds members TV projects and albums once those started taking off. He even served as choreographer for many stage shows and specials.

His latest passion project has been The Osmonds: A New Musical, which premiered in February 2022 in England. He wrote the stage musical from his perspective, and it’s “based in the 60-70s when the band was selling 100 million records and winning 47 Gold and Platinum awards,” according to his website.

“I’ve wanted to tell my story for such a long time and the opportunity to create this beautiful musical, a sort of ‘living autobiography,’ seemed the perfect way to do so,” he says. He and his wife, Karen, have a total of eight children and 10 grandkids.

Merrill Osmond

Merrill Osmond ; The Osmonds members
1970/2017 Gems / Contributor / Getty // Shirlaine Forrest / Contributor / Getty

Now 70, Merrill was the recognized lead singer throughout the Osmonds members’ many years of collaboration, including on their hits “One Bad Apple”, “Let Me In,” “Love Me For A Reason,” and “Crazy Horses.”

In addition to serving as an executive producer on the Donny & Marie show in the 70s, he also helped produce both Ronald Reagan’s presidential inauguration, as well as George H. Bush’s inaugural ball in 1989. In 2017, he received an honorary doctorate degree in humanities from Dixie State University, which is now Utah Tech University.

“A couple of fun facts about me,” he shares, “are that I love to collect Mickey Mouse paraphernalia and I’ve been knighted twice by the Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem and the King of Portugal.” He also serves as the patron of The Hearing Fund UK, founded by his son Justin, with whom he’s co-hosted a podcast titled Sound Advice since 2020. Merrill and his wife Mary have six children and 15 grandchildren. 

Wayne Osmond

Wayne Osmond
1970/2008 Gems / Contributor / Getty // C Brandon / Contributor / Getty

Though he reportedly had perfect pitch, the now 72-year-old Wayne primarily sang background vocals for the Osmonds throughout their career, and he’s a multitalented musician who knows how to play guitar, drums, flute, saxophone, violin, clarinet, the bagpipes and more!

He’s been mostly retired since last performing with his brothers in 2018 and briefly reuniting in honor of Marie in 2019. Wayne has had some rough health patches through the years, including the discovery of a brain tumor in 1994.

“I noticed I couldn’t play my saxophone anymore because my head would start throbbing,” he shared with Coping Magazine about his ependymoma brain cancer diagnosis, although his battle with it was successful. “I went back to performing six months after I was diagnosed. I wore my cowboy hat on stage since all of my hair had fallen out from radiation. But after a while it grew back,” he noted.

Wayne has five children with his wife Kathlyn, whom he married in 1974.

Alan Osmond

Alan Osmond ; The Osmonds members
1970/2010 Gems / Contributor / Getty // Gregg DeGuire / Contributor / Getty

Alan, the eldest of the singing Osmonds members, is now 74, and he started singing in the quartet when he was just 12. His age afforded him the honorary position as creative director for the young group for most of their time together. A pianist and guitarist, Alan was also instrumental in co-writing songs and arranging the family’s choreography.

In 1980, Alan, who served in the California Army National Guard in the 60s, and brother Merrill teamed up to launch Provo, Utah’s Stadium of Fire, what’s billed as one of the largest Independence Day celebrations in the country. The founder of the OneHeart Foundation, a charity for orphans, Alan has pretty much retired from performing since 2018.

In his personal life, Alan was briefly linked to Karen Carpenter before he married his wife Suzanne in 1974. Their eight sons have performed as the Osmond Brothers 2nd Generation. Despite he and one of his sons, David, having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Alan strives to remain as active as he can.

Jimmy Osmond

Jimmy Osmond ; The Osmonds members
1973/2018 Jorgen Angel / Contributor / Getty // John Phillips / Stringer / Getty

The baby of the Osmonds members, who is now 60, earned his own gold record in Japan by age 5. It was titled “My Little Darling,” and he sung it in Japanese! Jimmy also set a Guinness World Record by scoring a No. 1 song in the U.K., 1972’s “Long Haired Lover from Liverpool.”

In the early 80s, he appeared in a couple episodes of TV’s Fame, and he sailed four times on The Love Boat. In 2005, he competed on Britain’s I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, finishing fourth, and he was also a finalist on the UK’s Celebrity Masterchef. Fans might recognize the inspiration for his 2014 children’s storybook, Awesome Possum Family Band

He suffered a second stroke while performing on stage in 2018, having suffered a previous stroke due to a congenital heart defect in 2004. Jimmy has been keeping a low profile with his family, wife, Michelle, and their four children in recent years, having previously been involved in managing various Osmond family enterprises, as well as matters at the Andy Williams Performing Arts Center and Theatre in Branson, Missouri.

Virl and Tom Osmond

Virl and Tom Osmond
2007Ethan Miller / Staff / Getty

“My oldest brothers, Virl and Tom, were born into our musical family with impaired hearing,” Donny has shared, though Virl, who is now 78, and Tom, now 76, both shared their siblings’ love of music, dancing, and playing instruments.

“I have a lot of good memories,” Tom shared on brother Merrill’s Sound Advice podcast a few years ago. “I watched my brothers performing,” he shared, noting how his mom taught him and Virl how to play the saxophone with their siblings.

“We came from a wonderful musical family.… Being the eldest son of the family, I felt a responsibility to take care of my little brother Tom. He was totally deaf,” Virl has shared, noting that together they became the first deaf missionaries. “I’ll always be thankful for my brothers and my little sister. I love my family very much. We’re always connected.”

For more musical throwbacks, keep reading!

The Beach Boys Members: See the Band Then and Now

How Marie Osmond Keeps Her Marriage Strong After 25-Year Break From Husband Stephen Craig

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