Long a static target for cheap-shot artists, Osmond has been ridiculed about everything from his bubblegum pop to his nice-guy appearance. One writer declared his birth the darkest day in pop music history, and another suggested Osmond should have been drowned while still an infant. But while rock journalists -- an oxymoron if ever there was one -- tongue-bathe Alanis Morissette, Eminem and Kid Rock, Osmond has proved himself to be the true showbiz rebel by staying married for more than 20 years, being a loving father and continuing to sell albums without once having to sing about fellatio.
When given a chance, people do like him. In 1989, when a radio station started playing his song "Soldier of Love" anonymously (virtually a requirement since Osmond's toothy grin and wholesome '70s image became a liability), it reached No. 2 on the charts. A five-year run in Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat followed, as did a two-year talk-show run with sister Marie.
Now Donny is touring with New Age pianist Jim Brickman, with whom he struck up a friendship on his show (Osmond returned the favor by appearing on Brickman's PBS special). While the tour is Brickman's -- and his catchy melodies will woo a crowd -- Osmond has been getting rave reviews for his witty performances, which include a solid Elvis Presley impersonation and an a cappella opening on "Do You Know What I Know." In this holiday show, Osmond's wholesome personality and '70s image are not only welcomed, they're celebrated.
Now that's cool.