Donny Osmond

In this special one-on-one interview with Dr. Phil, entertainer Donny Osmond opens up about the incredible highs and crushing lows of childhood fame and the pressure to be perfect under the glaring lights of show business. Plus, Donny receives a surprise visit and performance from his idol: music legend Stevie Wonder.

The Pressure to be Perfect



Dr. Phil reads from a chapter in Donny’s book, in which the star recalls a low moment in 1974 when he returned alone to his hotel room following a packed concert in Hawaii: “You said, ‘I felt myself overcome with such sadness and despair. All I could do was lie on the floor, huddled in the corner in the fetal position, and cry like a baby. I felt a fear that I had never known. I thought that I was losing my mind as my mind ricocheted around my head — like I didn’t have the right to feel unhappy. "I can’t take it," I screamed between sobs. "I just want to be me — not all of this showbiz stuff.'’”

Donny also opens up about a time in Chicago in the '90s when he was performing in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoats and again felt overcome by fear. “Luckily, my wife, Debbie, was there with me. And she said to me, ‘Look, why don’t you do yourself and the audience a favor? Why don’t you go out there tonight and do an average job.’ She gave me license to make a mistake — and it was the best job I ever did in my life.”

One year later, in Minneapolis, Donny says that fear struck yet again in the form of a panic attack. “I had to seek professional help and medication,” he says. “But it never leaves you because it’s part of your personality. I’ve learned not to beat myself up about it. It’s OK to make a mistake.”

Donny fondly remembers his friend, Michael Jackson.

Donny talks about how difficult it was to make the jump from teen idol to respected adult star. “My former PR guy said, ‘We’re going to get you busted for drugs and then you’re going to have some street cred,’” he recalls. “Here’s the thing — it would have worked! But how would I have faced my children years later if they asked, 'Dad, why did you do that?' All for the sake of being popular? No, I did it the hard way; the right way. I let my music speak for itself.”

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