LOS ANGELES — Donny Osmond says as long as the current wave of public interest keeps up, he and his famous sister will keep performing on stage, on television and on albums.

In Utah this week for the release of the new "Donny & Marie" CD (and for Marie's surprise remarriage to her first husband Steve Craig), Osmond said the last few years have been gratifying and surprising.

"We signed a six-week contract with The Flamingo three years ago," Osmond said. "Certainly, over the years, there have been peaks and valleys. This is a peak; a peak we had no idea would be at this level at this point in time."

The workload is keeping Donny and Marie going, so putting an album together was a challenge.

"I've never worked harder in my life!" Osmond said. "We just forfeited the sleeping and eating. That's overrated anyway."

The twosome sat down with Buddy Cannon and sifted through more than 200 songs before they selected the 16 tracks for the album.

"Marie wanted hers. I wanted mine. Buddy was the referee," Osmond said. "We're both very happy with this."

The result is a mix of country-radio twang and love ballad, a mix Osmond said was chosen as an entire listening experience.

"It didn't just happen. It's taken three years to put together. We took our time," he said.

Osmond said it's a challenge today to produce an album because people tend to pick a single song or two and download only those. But he looks at a CD like it's a painting.

"The sequence of songs is important as much as the choices," he said. "There's a thread of continuity in the album, a thread of optimism."

Donny and Marie introduced the album on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Monday, singing the title song "A Beautiful Life" with country flair and a rock element.

"It's a nice balance, I think," Osmond said.

The CD features a variety of songs written by Richie Sambora, Carole King and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Carole Bayer Sager, David Foster, Jeremy Lubbock, Richard Marx, Frank Myers, Gary Baker and Walt Aldridge.

Titles include "A Beautiful Life," "The Best of Me," "I Can't Wait," "Better Off Blue" and "I Have You to Thank."

One song has a line about the husband working at Walmart, which Donny said is purely coincidental, since he's doing signings at Walmarts.

"I like Walmart," he said. "I'm a Walmart shopper!"

Osmond said he and Marie hope the album pleases their loyal fans.

"We wanted some commerciality. This is a business, but you've got to be true to yourself," he said. "People have already come up to me and said they've bought it and really enjoyed it."

Osmond said he believes appearing on "Dancing With the Stars" gave both their careers a shot in the arm. He recognizes he's proving himself all over again to a new generation, as evidenced by a story he likes to tell.

"A little boy came up after the Vegas show in the meet-and-greet. When he got to me, he said, 'Mr. Osmond, I didn't know you could sing, too!' "

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