Merrill Davis Osmond (born April 30, 1953) is an American musician. He is best known for being the lead vocalist and bassist of the family music group The Osmonds and The Osmond Brothers, as well as an occasional solo artist.

Merrill Osmond
Osmond in 2002
Born
Merrill Davis Osmond

(1953-04-30) April 30, 1953 (age 71)
Occupations
  • Musician
  • singer
Years active1962–2023
Spouse
Mary Carlson
(m. 1973)
Children6

Early life

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Osmond was born in Ogden, Utah, the fifth of the nine children of Olive May (née Davis; 1925–2004) and George Virl Osmond (1917–2007).

The Osmonds

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Osmond performing in 2008

Starting in 1958, Merrill and three of his brothers (Alan, Wayne, and Jay in their respective age orders) began singing as a barbershop quartet. They were later discovered in 1961 by Jay Emerson Williams, Andy Williams's father, at a performance at Disneyland which was being filmed for the Disneyland After Dark episode of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. In 1962, the four Osmonds were regular guests over a seven-year period on NBC's The Andy Williams Show, a musical variety program. They also appeared in nine episodes of the 1963–64 ABC western television series The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, with Merrill in the role of young Deuteronomy Kissel.[1]

A tenor/countertenor vocalist well into adulthood, Merrill was either lead singer or co-lead singer (usually sharing duties with younger brother Donny) on almost all of the Osmonds' songs and co-wrote, along with older brother Alan, many of them.[2] Like the rest of his family, he is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When Donny began to focus on his own career in the late 1970s, Merrill grew out his beard, let it naturally go gray,[2] and, along with his brothers, shifted to country music, recording a number of hits on the country charts in the 1980s; he also had one hit independent of his fellow Osmonds, a duet with session singer Jessica Boucher (younger sister of Savannah and Sherry Boucher), "You're Here to Remember (I'm Here to Forget),"[3] which peaked at number 62 on the Hot Country Singles chart in May 1987.[4] Osmond announced his intent to retire from performing in 2022 and performed his last American show in April of that year, with a UK tour to follow.[5] Merrill's final show took place at the barn, Ringwood on January 19, 2023. He later added a limited run of performances for September 2024. He has named Nathan Osmond, one of his nephews, his successor, both as Jay's singing partner[6] and as head of the annual Serenity retreats.

Other works

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Osmond has sporadically hosted the podcast Sound Advice with his son Justin since 2020, produced by KSL radio.[7]

Personal life

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Merrill was the first of the performing Osmond siblings to marry. He wed Mary Carlson on September 17, 1973; they have four sons, two daughters, and 15 grandchildren. Merrill's second son, Justin, is deaf, as are Justin's uncles, Virl and Tom Osmond, Merrill's two oldest brothers. Justin Osmond works with several organizations and launched the Olive Osmond Perpetual Hearing Fund in 2010. Merrill's youngest son, Troy, died in his sleep at age 33 on November 9, 2018 from an undiagnosed heart condition.

Like the rest of his family, Merrill is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[8] A statement of faith on his Web site expresses support for the Book of Mormon and the prophecies of Joseph Smith, as well as the church's compatibility with mainstream Christianity.[9] In keeping with church tradition, all his sons have served as missionaries.

In a 2021 interview with GB News, Osmond described himself as "very conservative" person. He expressed mixed feelings toward former President Donald Trump, noting that his experience with Trump was that Trump was a "nice guy" but that Osmond was never comfortable with the way Trump spoke.[10]

He and his wife are currently serving as missionaries for their church at the Washington, D.C. temple.[11]

Awards and honours

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Merrill has been twice knighted, once by the Order of Saint Michael of the Wing and once by the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem.[8] In May 2017, he received an honorary doctorate in humanities from Dixie State University, now known as Utah Tech University.

References

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  1. ^ "The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (1963–1964)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Benson, Lee (December 27, 2018). "They're still the Osmond Brothers after all these years". Deseret News. Retrieved December 28, 2023.
  3. ^ "A Success Story From Singing with an Osmond". May 27, 1987. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  4. ^ "Merrill And Jessica You're Here To Remember (I'm Here To Forget) Chart History". Billboard.
  5. ^ "Donny Osmond emotionally breaks down during brother Merrill's final ever live show". Smooth. Retrieved July 3, 2022.
  6. ^ "Singer Nathan Osmond Says 'It's Been Fun' to Follow in Footsteps of Donny and Marie (Exclusive)". Peoplemag. Retrieved January 24, 2024.
  7. ^ Sound Advice with the Osmonds on Apple Podcasts
  8. ^ a b "All are invited to come unto Christ | ComeUntoChrist.org". comeuntochrist.org.
  9. ^ Beliefs - Merrill Osmond. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  10. ^ Merrill Osmond: Trump ‘is a really nice guy’ but was ‘never really a fan of how he spoke’. GB News via YouTube. July 26, 2021. Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  11. ^ "Merrill Osmond's next gig: A Latter-day Saint mission". Deseret News. October 28, 2022. Retrieved January 31, 2024.
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