MYVEGAS Magazine publisher, Mark Shaffer, sat down with the legendary Marie Osmond for this exclusive interview on her life, her loves, and her career “through the years”…
MS: When I think of going “through the years” with you, Marie Osmond…in the 1960’s and 1970’s, you and your brother (Donny Osmond) were my idols! What were some highlights of your teenage years and overall career?
MO: When I (heard that) question, I laughed. You know you’re a busy person when you have to Google yourself! I feel so blessed- being a woman who has worked consistently for years in my business is very rare. Highlights would definitely be my children and my second marriage to my husband. As I move back over those decades, the things that stick out are the times that I worked to help other people, and when I challenged myself to go above and beyond things that I thought were impossible. To be one of the founders of a Children’s Hospital Network, raising money to help children in need… those are the things that stand out for me. In my teens I was in California, I was twelve years old when I recorded “Paper Roses”. Thirteen has always been a lucky number for me…my song became number one when I was that age. At fourteen, we started the “Donny and Marie” show. By age twenty, I’d recorded five or six albums. From the minute I hit my teens I was off and running. My teens were filled with recording, touring…crazy fun, but very busy. I started working in the business when I was three years old. The teen years were a lot of work for me; it was not typical for a teenager. I worked with some of the greatest people in the entertainment business, I was so lucky! I learned about the ethics of hard work, and I studied along with some of the greats like Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Sammy Davis Jr.- amazing people.
MS: Who are your inspirations (as far as music goes)?
MO: I started singing country music because of Loretta Lynn. I loved the fact that she was a woman who could have children and still have a career, which was not the case for celebrities in the 1970’s for
women. It’s very different now. It was a man’s world. She was my inspiration.
MS: What about during your twenties? What are some of the highlights that come to mind?
MO: In 1983 I cofounded the Children’s Miracle Network with John Schneider and it’s now the largest children’s charity of it’s kind in North America. The money goes to the kids- 100% of it to local
hospitals. In 1983, my son Stephen was born…
MS: Did your variety show continue in your twenties?
MO: I started recording country again and had country hits, “Meet Me in Montana”, “Read my Lips”, and I did a lot of touring.
MS: What things stood out for you in your thirties? Favorite highlights?
MO: In 1991 I started designing and sculpting. I became one of the top doll designers in the world… isn’t that crazy? I wrote a book on postpartum depression. I was the third celebrity to write about it. A lot of people came out about it afterwards. I think sometimes the most difficult things that happen to you are the greatest things because it’s a lesson we have to go through, ya know?
MS: I believe that, too. They say it’s always darkest before the dawn…
MO: Yes. Also, in my thirties, one of my greatest professional highlights was that I debuted on Broadway in The King and I. I learned a completely different way of singing- I learned to sing legitimate soprano and also I loved entertaining the troops. I was able to hone my writing skills, my doll making skills…it was a fun time for me in my thirties! I feel like I learned a lot. If there’s a mole marking on the left eye of one of my dolls, it means that I sculpted that doll myself. Also, I went over with Bob Hope and entertained in the Gulf war…literally weeks before it started.
MS: That’s got to be heartwarming as well!
MO: Everyone should see what they go through. My dad was an army sergeant and he said that you never do a show where you don’t take a moment to honor the great men and women who fought for this country- that’s why we have the great country we live in. We always have to give gratitude. That’s how we get to pursue our dreams…
MS: So, what about in your forties? What stands out for you during that time?
MO: Hmmm…the Donny and Marie talk show. Also, that’s when my book came out “Behind a Smile”- that’s when I became a New York Times best selling author. In my forties I also became a speaker. I was on a speaking tour. I love helping women, and the Unique Lives speaking series was something that I enjoyed. I did a radio show, and that was so fun! Every Thursday, I did a soap on the radio live with a voice character. The reason I did that radio show at that time was that my mother was very sick. I chose to do the radio show before she passed away (instead of being on the road and touring). My mom passed away in my forties, and that was a great loss. Also in my forties was when I did Dancing with the Stars, which lead to Nutrisystem®. I’ve been doing Nutrisystem® for 7 years. I really enjoyed doing that, and I get thousands of letters back from women who were inspired by my involvement with Nutrisystem® who have lost weight, and gotten their bodies back, and gotten healthy, which is great!
MS: Yes, I’m sure you’re a great inspiration to women everywhere!
MO: Well, they are to me too. Becoming a grandma has been a great inspiration. I feel way young, and very cool to be a young grandma. My grandson, Stephen James Craig (he’s a
Jr.) is in California. I didn’t realize how fun it was to be a grandmother!
MS: How many years have you been on the Las Vegas Strip?
MO: I think we just completed our sixth year, and heading into our seventh. You know, I love Vegas. To me Vegas sets a very high standard. We were voted best show in Vegas, and to have those kinds of accolades is an honor. There’s a fantastic energy here in Vegas, Donny and I change the show up every year…we don’t keep it the same. When you do a show everyday, five days a week, it’s like being an
athlete. You have to stay in shape and you have to stay on top of your game. Vegas is a destination spot, so it’s more fun than going on tour. Celine (Dion) and I are the only two that live in Vegas and perform here (on the Strip).
MS: How do you enjoy living in Vegas?
MO: I’m a working mom with a very large family, so I don’t understand the word “day off”! If I’m not on stage performing, I’ve been hosting The Talk. I fly all over the place. I don’t really have a day off. It’s wonderful to live here, but my children need to be in Vegas…it’s better to keep the kids here to have normalcy in their home life, and school.
MS: Do you hold residence anywhere else?
MO: I live here, and I’m here all the time.
MS: What are some of your passions?
MO: Wise Food Storage. I have been asked to endorse a ton of things, but you’ll notice I only endorse things that I believe change peoples lives. It’s better than investing in gold! I was raised on “emergency food” and taught preparedness by my mother. Wise Food is literally…you buy it, you stick it under your bed, and you forget about it for 25 years. I have friends who were in Hurricane Sandy, and they suffered because they couldn’t get help for 10 days. I can’t imagine as a parent going through a disaster and not being able to feed my children. Wise Food mixes dehydrated and freeze dried foods, and when it rehydrates, it looks like the original food. I’ve just started endorsing them and I’ve already gotten calls from people who are preparing for emergencies and use the food for financial struggle and disasters. Like my mother said, “you never know when your next job is going to come around”. Now, you can be prepared! The peaches are so good! I can’t keep them in my house, they’re that delicious. There are no additives…it’s all clean food.
MS: Who would you say is your current favorite country singer on the charts right now?
MO: Taylor Swift, I love what she’s doing! I know her age, I know what she’s going through. I like the groups, too. Carrie Underwood…I just emailed her. She did Sound of Music, I did that show, too. She’s a sweetheart! I am still an avid country fan. I’ve been working with a bunch of writers right now- I love the writers. I’m more partial to the writer/artist combination. I think it’s a really wonderful gift when
you can do that…when you can create original music.