After a 10-year absence, singer Donny Osmond has reappeared on Billboard magazine's record charts with a new single, "Soldier of Love.'
The song, which debuted at No. 73 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, earlier achieved Top 10 status in England and is being treated as an import by some U.S. radio stations, Billboard writer Michael Ellis noted in his "Singles Spotlight" column.
"Chart Beat" columnist Paul Grein offered more commentary and background in the March 25 issue of Billboard:
"Here's a sentence we never thought we'd write: Donny Osmond has this week's highest-debuting single," Grein wrote. "The former teen idol accomplishes the feat as `Soldier of Love' enters the Hot 100 at No. 73. It's Osmond's first solo single to make the chart since 1976, which - not coincidentally - was the year he and sister Marie launched a weekly TV variety show built around their wholesome, clean-cut family appeal. If that doesn't kill a pop-music career, nothing will."
Donny Osmond was once one of the hottest stars in the business, Grein said, accumulating nine gold singles between 1971 and 1974 and earning 14 gold albums by 1978.
The Utah native's first successes were with his brothers Alan, Wayne, Merrill and Jay in the Osmond Brothers' act. The boys appeared in the 1960s on the Andy William's show on TV, and then came on strong in the early '70s with hits like "One Bad Apple" and "Yo-Yo." His solo hits included the No. 1 "Go Away Little Girl," "Sweet and Innocent" and "Puppy Love."
With Marie he recorded duets like "I'm Leaving It All Up to You" and "Morning Side of the Mountain." His last Top 40 appearance was in 1978 with Marie via the single "On the Shelf," which reached No. 38. In the years since, Marie has landed several No. 1 country singles, but Donny just about disappeared.
He did appear on Broadway in "Little Johnny Jones," worked on special TV projects, and also showed up in other singers' videos now and then.
Two factors may be working in favor of Osmond's re-emergence in 1989, Grein said.
"Everybody loves an odds-defying comeback story, and few are as dramatic as this."