For the first time in three years, Donnie and Marie Osmond sang together on a Las Vegas stage on Saturday night. It was only for a song, but it was the memory of a lifetime for the fans who filled Harrah’s showroom for what they thought would be just another Donny Osmond show.
During his show’s request segment, Donny showed a list of songs formerly performed together by the famous duo. Someone requested “A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock ’N Roll.” They sang that on every episode of ABC-TV’s “Donny & Marie” variety show, which ran from January 1976 to May 1979. It was a song that emphasized their musical differences.
Though Donny, 64, had performed his solo show at Harrah’s since August 2021, it was the first time Marie, 63, had come to see it. And she apparently had no intention of joining her former teen-idol brother on stage. Donny introduced her anyway, saying, “There is one of my favorite people on the planet, my sister, Marie, right there,” as he pointed her out in a VIP booth.
Donny and Marie originally signed on for a six-week run at the Flamingo in 2008. But it turned into 11 years and more than 1,700 performances together. It also netted them a reported $1.6 million a year, which could have had something to do with its longevity.
In a 2012 interview with Metro UK, Donny explained that he and Marie had been rivals since childhood, when they were the breakout stars of their family group, The Osmonds.
“There’s sibling rivalry in families but we were business partners too,” he said. “To make the business work, we set those rivalries aside. Me and Marie were the most competitive, we were closest in age, and then the ‘Donny & Marie’ TV show in the 1970s used that in the scripts. It was how we were off stage, too.”
Officially, Donny said the duo ended their Flamingo residency because both had projects they wanted to do separately – he an album and she more acting. However, it had been reported that they were feuding and rarely spoke offstage. Offered as supporting evidence were the dwindling duets toward the end of the show’s run. (The show had essentially become two separate solo shows.) Also, fans who paid for a VIP experience got either a photo with Donny or Marie, or both, never a photo with Donny and Marie together.
“It’s so nice to see you!” Donnie said, walking through the crowd, which was erupting in applause, toward his sister. “I love you, baby!”
When Donny reached Marie, he asked her, “Do you mind?”
Marie agreed, telling the crowd: “I’m here for him, not to do this, but I’ll do this one.”
It was the first time they had performed together on stage since their last Flamingo date on November 16, 2019.
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