ST. GEORGE – Music, television and Broadway star and former teen idol Donny Osmond is tuning up to release his 60th studio album, slated for this fall. The album, entitled “The Soundtrack of My Life,” features cover songs of classic tunes from Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and more, telling a rich story of the music that has influenced Osmond in his life and career.
“I think we all remember the times when certain music was playing – where we were or why it has personal significance,” Osmond said. “In a way, this album is autobiographical.”
Prior to the album’s release and in an industry first, Osmond has launched a new social media app simply titled “Donny Osmond” to give listeners the opportunity to preview the songs. Fans who download the free app will be treated to song samples as well as anecdotal stories that detail why each song is personal to Osmond.
Osmond said one of the reasons he decided to add the stories was because of the personal significance they give to the music. He sees such stories as one of the latest trends in marketing music, he said, because they create a personal touch between the band and the fans, allowing fans into the making of an album and creating an experience for them.
As his app was being created, Osmond worked closely with the app developers to ensure users were given a clean, friendly feel and to allow for a large sample of the music; listeners will get a two to two-and-a-half minute sound sample of each song. Only the tail end of each song will be left off, Osmond said – so the record executives don’t go crazy and the listeners are left wanting just a little more.
After receiving song samples and stories, listeners are encouraged to harness the power of social media by sharing the app on Twitter and Facebook to unlock, via the in-app sharing tool, even more sneak peaks.
The first track made available on the app is a collaboration between Osmond and legendary artist Stevie Wonder called “My Cherie Amour.”
The story accompanying the track details how, for Osmond, the collaboration with Wonder was a dream come true and how that particular track was the first 45 Osmond ever purchased.
“He is one of my musical heroes,” Osmond said. “He is just a joy to work with. I have one MP3 sample he sent me on my phone that I am never going to erase.”
Other songs on the album include a No. 1 hit by late pop star Michael Jackson – and the story of how it was almost Osmond’s hit instead. A little insight is also given into why Osmond’s mother could only play Frank Sinatra’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” while her husband was away.
Osmond talked about the difficulty of covering such a classic song and his desire to make it his own without ruining the integrity of it. The result?
“It’s a very sexy song,” he said.
Leading up to the release of the album, clips of the tracks will be made available on a regular basis. The entire album preview will be rolled out solely through social media and the app.
A self-proclaimed Twitter and Facebook fiend, Osmond said the response to the app, which launched in June, has been “unbelievable,” and he is excited to be an industry leader in the trend.
For Osmond, whose career has spanned nearly five decades, the app and social media have been a great way to get in touch with a younger audience.
“A lot of younger kids who maybe saw me on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ are now downloading the app and discovering Donny Osmond music,” he said.
So far, the number of downloads is in the thousands, Osmond said, and reviews have all been favorable.
The app is compatible with the iPod touch, iPad and iPhones with iOS 4.3 or later, as well as Android devices, and can be downloaded for free from the App Store.
Osmond said he hopes his listeners enjoy the music and the stories. Having lived in Bloomington for a time, he also had a special message for the people of his former hometown.
“Tell the people of my hometown, ‘I love ya, and I miss St. George’,” Osmond said.
For now, Osmond can be seen at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he performs with his sister Marie Osmond.
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