The stories you never knew about the Osmond family

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Everyone knows and loves the Osmonds. They have been famous for over 40 years and came a long way from the barbershop quartet they started out as. They are now among the most notable families in Hollywood. The Osmonds are comprised of so many siblings that they created more than one music groups including Donny and Marie and The Osmonds.


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Many of the family members have remained in the spotlight to this day. The Osmonds first became notice with their barbershop quartet with members; Jay, Alan, Merrill, and Wayne. Younger brothers Jimmy and Donny also joined the quarter later in the group’s run. While the Osmond brothers were successful by themselves, it was when Marie, their sister, started her singing career that the Osmond name was well-known.

They eventually started a show with Donny who was the most popular of the brothers. Alongside Marie, they started a show aptly named Donny & Marie. The family has had much success and triumphs in their life but as is true of a number of the Osmond siblings, they have also had their share of challenges and controversies.

An added layer of the Osmonds story is that the family is part of the Mormon Church. Because of this, they were able to steer clear of the temptations that so many Hollywood stars succumb to such as drinking and illegal substances. While they were not affected by addictions, many of the Osmond family members have suffered personal tragedies and even suffered abuse from their managers during their career. We have found so of best-kept mysteries and secrets about the Osmonds and we are here to share them with you.

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A charitable family

As the Osmond family are devout Mormons, religion is a very important aspect of their lives. Throughout their lives they have donate a portion of their income to the Mormon Church which is used to help people around the world. Both Donny and Marie are very involved in charities and Donny is the head of his own foundation named after the Osmond family. The family is extremely generous and are constantly donating their time and money to worthy causes.

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Tech lover

What many people may not know about Donny Osmond is that he has an obsession with technology. He even designed the control room and the Flamingo hotel in Las Vegas. He has also designed many other computer systems for his shows. He said of his love for the control room, “It’s my little world in here.” He has called himself a, “Total nerd” and especially loves Apple products. Who knew?

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Famous faces

If you ever go to visit Las Vegas, you would see a giant projection of Marie and Donny’s faces on the Bellagio bridge. Just one of their eyes alone are 6 ft tall. Talk about getting your face on a billboard! However, in the comfort of his own home, the family refers to Donny with the nickname “Uncle Donny” but they know that he is, “A little more than Uncle Donny right now.”

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Hectic schedule

The fact that Donny and Marie were famous at such a young age meant that their schedules were a little different than most teenagers. The brother sister duo got their own show in 1976 and at the time, Donny was only 17. The siblings worked incredibly hard and had 20 hour work days full of physical work such as learning dance routines, songs, and reading over scripts, rehearsing and performing. The fact that these two managed to look so happy and energetic on television is amazing.

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Get it right!

Donny revealed how much it bothers him when fans would misspell his name. Some think that it is spelled Donnie which is obviously not the case. Donny and Marie’s producers at the Flamingo hotel where Donny had a residency knew about this and decided to change the spelling of his name of Donny’s dressing room as a prank. While Donny knew it was just a joke, he did not appreciate it.

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High energy

The Osmonds, especially Donny, are known for giving high energy and exciting performances with impressive dance routines that leave audiences cheering for more. Even though it’s their job, the Osmonds enjoy dancing for fun too. Marie once said in an interview that her brother Donny sometimes gets up on tables to dance and she tells everyone to, “Hold on to your beverage.”

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Daily schedule

So what does a typical day in Donny Osmond’s life look like? Well it might be a little bit different than what you would expect. It has been reported that Danny only sleeps for 4 hours and wakes up at 6am in order to take his son where he needed to go. He then speaks to his manager before going back to sleep for around an hour. He then goes to the studio to record voiceovers for a Disney cartoon, exercises, and then does his show with his sister Marie.

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Dancing off weight

Donny is not the only one who works hard as Marie said that she lost almost 50 pounds from doing her show at the Flamingo and from her appearance on ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Marie knows how important exercising is and said, “I had to be healthy. Heart disease runs in my family.” Unfortunately, both Marie’s grandmother and mother died from heart related issues and her father had multiple pacemakers.

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Donny’s workouts

Just like Marie, Donny has also worked hard to maintain a healthy body. Since their Vegas show began, Donny has loss weight which resulted in him losing two-inches on his waistline. Their show involves a lot of intense dancing which requires them to be in top physical shape. They get a whole workout from their show but then Donny takes it even further by working out at his neighborhood gym to work on his muscles.

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Solo career

While most people know of Donny and & Marie as a duo, they did not always work together. In the 80s they decided to take a chance at at their own solo careers. While they did have success on their own, we were excited to find out that the two were joining forces again for their show in Las Vegas. Donny recalls that when he visited the Flamingo hotel, he phones Marie and told her, “this is it.”

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Marie’s career

When they started working together after focusing on their own careers, the two admitted that it was harder than they thought. Donny stated, “I’m dealing with somebody who is in control of her own career now.” Donny could not boss his little sister around anymore and they decided to add another member to their team to keep the two in check. Barry Leather is the choreographer and director of their show.

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Too busy to see each other?

While Donny and Marie did everything together when they were younger in the 1970s, nowadays they do not have the time to hang out outside of work. Both siblings have their own families at home that they enjoy spending their free time with as everyone does and as a result they do not see too each other too often. At least their spending plenty of time together at work.

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Donny likes salt

Many people have interesting or peculiar habits and Donny is no different. According to Marie, Donny enjoys licking salt! She explained in an interview, “Donny licks the salt off pretzels before he eats them.” She continued that he does not have a reason for it besides the fact that he has been doing it for years. While this isn’t the strangest habit we’ve ever heard, it’s not the most common thing either.

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Celebrity guests

The hugely successful ‘Donny & Marie’ show had many of the most popular celebrities at the time as guests. It added an interesting aspect to the show and kept people tuning in. However, Donny and Marie did not get along with all of their guests. Groucho Marx made a guest appearance on the show and Marie claims that he often pinched her and she said, “He was a dirty old man.”

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Gold Records

The Osmonds have had many achievements throughout their expansive career including having a number or records go gold. They received gold records not only once, but four times! The first album to achieve the milestone was ‘Leaving It All Up To You’ which came out in 1974. The last Osmond album was released in 2011, even though many of them are still working, and fans would love to hear some new music from the family.

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Lavish lifestyle

Marie was very successful from very early on in her life and with success often comes wealth. Marie got to experiences some of the advantages of being able to buy whatever you want. She was often seen with fancy luxury handbags on her arm and was especially inclined to carrying Louis Vuitton bags. How sweet does Marie look as a teenager with her curlers and her fashionable ensemble?

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Happy family

Donny has experienced many challenges throughout his life, which we will discuss later, but he did find happiness with his own family. When Donny was at the pinnacle of his success he married the love of his life Debra Glenn. Donny was just 20 when he walked down the aisle and he is the father to five sons; Joshua Davis, Christopher Glenn, Brandon Michael, Jeremy James, and Donald Clark Jr. The family love spending time together and attend church regularly.

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Performing on Broadway

Donny Osmond is truly a triple threat! He had some famous roles on Broadway including his well-known role as Joseph in ‘Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’. He also had the lead part in the show ‘Little Johnny Jones’. Most recently, Osmond took on the daunting task of playing Gaston in ‘Beauty and the Beast’. It looks like he had a great time playing Gaston and his looks definitely fit the part!

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Crush on Donny

Sanjeev Bhaskar admitted that his wife had a crush on Donny since she was a little girl on his show ‘The Kumars at No. 42’. She was even willing to convert to be a Mormon for him. Donny made a guest appearance on his show where Bhaskar told Osmond that if his wife was still interested, she could marry Donny. He was joking of course.

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Cartoon Donny

In addition to his real life performances, Donny is also the voice behind many characters on animated television series. Donny made an animated guest appearance on the well known cartoon ‘Johnny Bravo’ and he was in the Disney movie Mulan. If you did not already know, Donny sang the song “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”

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Youngest brother

So what about the other Osmond siblings? Many of the other Osmond siblings were very successful in their careers. The youngest family member, Jimmy Osmond broke major records with his song “Long Haired Lover From Liverpool” at only nine years-old and held the top place on the U.K. charts. But success does come at a cost. Jimmy said, “The home I grew up in was a string of hotels across the world. I don’t remember my first home, which was somewhere in Los Angeles.”

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Other brothers

Many people may be surprised to know that the two oldest Osmond brothers, George Virl and Tom, were born hearing impaired. The family could not afford to buy them hearing devices and decided to get their other children together to sing so they could raise the money. This is what started the musical future of the Osmond’s. Another interesting fact is that during The Osmond’s performances they would speak in sign language so that George and Tom would know what was going on.

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LGBT child

In her book, Marie recalls how her daughter Jessica, whom she adopted, revealed that she was attracted to girls when she was 17 and that she is a member of the LGBT community. Marie was upset at first explaining that she did not want her daughter to have to get judged by others for her orientation. Marie knew many people who were members of the LGBT community and said, “I didn’t want that for my child.”

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Saying No

Donny’s religion is extremely important to him and he always followed the rules of the church. That meant that he did not drink, partake in illegal substances, or even use swear words as it was in violation of his principles. Donny has said that he is proud that he resisted all of the temptations of the Hollywood lifestyle that so many other stars have taken part in which has often negatively affected their lives.

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Staying humble

The Osmonds have always maintained a “God comes first” lifestyle when it comes to both their careers and personal lives. When people question Donny about the secret of his success, he will always respond, “God first.” Donny’s family is also very important to him and they have been with him through the good and bad. Donny has responded to his critics by saying “you’re not naive growing up in this business. I grew up fast.”

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Life is not perfect

Marie Osmond is only human and just like everyone else she has had highs and lows in her lifetime. She did not get to experience a normal childhood or dating life like many of her peers but she has said that she is at peace with herself. Marie is able to see the truth and now that no one can have it all. Maire stated, “I don’t know that anyone’s life is perfect.”

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Michael Jackson connection

Part of being famous is having famous friends. This was the case for the Osmonds as Donny had a close friendship with the king of pop, Michael Jackson. Osmond said that he recalls fond memories of the time he spent with Michael. One of those memories was at an award show when Donny was 17. The two got tacos and sat on the sunroof of Donny’s limousine on Sunset Boulevard.

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Is Marie a diva?

Many celebrities make various demands and Marie is no different. Some celebrities might request a certain food on set or a separate dressing room. When Marie does shows or interviews, she makes sure to tell producers and lighting directors that she wants to be lit in an angle that shows her good side. This request is actually pretty understable and we bet Marie asks nicely.

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No money for Jimmy

As we mentioned before, Jimmy had a very successful hit in the U.K. so one would think that the performer would have made millions from his single. However, this is not the case and Jimmy claimed that he never saw a dime from his famous song. He said, “We sold 100 million records, and the money we made on record sales is peanuts. Compared to what recording artists make today, this is very surprising.

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Making millions

Eventually, Jimmy did do well for himself as the family earned a respectable $80 million from their fame and talents. They earned the money through many different ways including television appearances, movies, and live concerts and performances. While they may have not made much from their album sales, we would not worry too much as it seems the family is doing just fine in terms of finances.

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Bigger dressing room

While we hope Marie is not a diva, she did ask for a bigger dressing room for her show in the Flamingo hotel. However she had a good reason. Marie wanted a larger room so that more kids could fit. Since she spent so much time there as it is her job and she wanted a place where her family could visit including her pets.

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Jimmy’s DeLorean

It looks like Jimmy did see some of his earnings eventually as he is known for buying the odd car. While he has not gone over board, He bought a DeLorean which is a recreation of the car from the hit movie Back to the Future. Jimmy also spent some of his money at a young age, becoming a homeowner at the time he was only 14.

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Lucky charm?

Many fans have wondered why Donny was always seen wearing purple socks. People came up with multiple theories for the socks and some said that it was his lucky charm. However, Donny proved the fan theories wrong when he revealed that the socks were actually his mother’s idea. She gave each of her children different color socks to wear so everyone could tell which brother it was.

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I love Lucy

Marie once guest starred on Lucille Ball’s show and Lucille took it as an opportunity to teach the 16 year-old Marie about show business. Lucille motioned the Osmond sister over to her and gave Marie some interested tips about lighting and makeup. Maybe that is why Marie is concerned with how she is lit in interviews today! Could you imagine getting advice from the great Lucille Ball?

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Pressure for substance abuse

Donny was a religious person and did not want to violate his beliefs. Because of this, Donny stayed away from the world of illegal substances. However, Donny recalled that many people pressured him to do things he did not believe in as they claimed that having a scandal in his personal life would make him seem, “more credible.” Donny did not give into the pressure and stuck to what he thought was right. Good for you Donny!

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Stealing Jay’s girl

Who could forget the song Could She Be Mine by the Osmonds. Well, what’s really interesting is the fact that the song is probably true. Donny was dating a girl named Tammy and his brother a girl named Debbie in 1975. The pair went to an Elton John concert one day, and Donny looked at Debbie and knew he would marry her. He stole her from his brother and the two ended up married.

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A different man

Marie Osmond was not looking very fit when she realized that she needed to take off a few pounds – both for health reasons as well as for her career. So she started on the nutrisystem diet, lost dozens of pounds, and became their spokesperson. Oddly enough, she started nutrisystem around the same time as joining a running club as well as working out six hours a day. Maybe that’s how she lost the pounds?

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Marie Osmond sells Nutrisystem

Deborah and Donny Osmond have five children together, all sons. They are Brandon Michael Osmond, Joshua Davis Osmond, Donald Clark Osmond Jr., and Christopher Glen Osmond, and Jeremy James Osmond. Interestingly, it turns out that the second born son was the first one to get married and have kids. The first born son only did so later. Additionally, Donald Jr is over two decades older than the youngest son Joshua.

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Donny and Deborah have five sons

Deborah and Donny Osmond have five children together, all sons. They are Brandon Michael Osmond, Joshua Davis Osmond, Donald Clark Osmond Jr., and Christopher Glen Osmond, and Jeremy James Osmond. Interestingly, it turns out that the second born son was the first one to get married and have kids. The first born son only did so later. Additionally, Donald Jr is over two decades older than the youngest son Joshua.

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Marie Osmond and postpartum depression

Marie Osmond fell into a deep depression after the birth of her first child Brandon. She at first thought that it was your standard case of the baby blues, something which occurs due to the hormonal imbalance from having a child. But it turns out that this bout lasted a really long time, signaling that she had postpartum depression. Marie now talks about it a lot, unafraid to share her story with other women going through the same thing.

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Beginning in Disneyland

When the Osmond family first went out to Los Angeles in order to score a record deal, the producer they were supposed to meet with was too busy to see the family. So, the father decided to take the family to Disneyland. The children saw the Dapper Dan barbershop quartet and spontaneously began to sing with them. The head of guest relations at the park was so impressed that he asked the kids to perform on Disney After Dark that night.

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They almost went bankrupt

By the time 1975 rolled around, the family was not doing especially well financially. With two album flops, the family decided to build a TV set close to their house in Utah and got going on filming the Donny and Marie show. The show was pulled after only a couple of seasons, and sadly, no other networks would pick them up. However, instead of declaring bankruptcy, the family just worked harder and pulled themselves out of debt.

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They only started selling CDs in 2008

Have you ever received an Osmond Band Disk before as a gift? Was it within the past 15 years or so? If this is the case then you might want to check and see when the disk itself was made. That’s because any Osmond CD bought before 2008 is a fake, and your friend bought the disk illegally. How do we know? The Osmonds only decided to sell their music on new fangled CDs in 2008. Too bad MP3s were already a thing by then.

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Pressure to be thin

Marie Osmond became famous at a very young age and recalls the immense pressure she felt to remain thin. The producers of their television show went so far as to threaten to cancel the entire show if Marie could not lose weight. Even more surprisingly, Marie was only around 100 pounds but monitored everything she ate to lose weight. Marie sad that the producers referred to her as, “obese, disgusting and a disgrace to my family.”

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Alan Osmond chose the army over a mission

Alan Osmond had a religious epiphany one day and decided that he would go on a Mormon missionary trip. However, after making the decision, he did not feel that it was right, so he fasted and he prayed on it. He decided in the end not to go on the tip, but instead decided to become a soldier and go fight in Vietnam. However, his parents got him an interview with a Colonel, so Osmond worked with him on a base near home.

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Boot camp awards

Alan was not going to be sent off to fight in the war, but still, everyone goes through basic training. Boot camp was a breeze for him as his years in show business enabled him to have a strict sense of discipline. Additionally, show business helped him get through sleep deprivation, and even helped him be an bayonet expert (due to choreography lessons). He was also the shooter in his unit.

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David Osmond has MS

David Osmond discovered that he had multiple sclerosis when he was 26 years old. The singer (who is also Donny Osmond’s nephew) was bound to a wheelchair for a long time and couldn’t even walk without a cane. However, he was still able to get engaged, and after a giant shot of hormones, walked down the aisle to marry her. David is no longer wheelchair bound, although he still does feel immense pain.

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Jay Osmond wrote an autobiography

The drummer for the Osmond family band, Jay Osmond, wrote an autobiography which he titled Stages. Jay takes the reader through the various difficulties and challenges the family had to go through as a part of life on the road in the 1970s. He also talks about the various collaborations the band had with people such as The Beatles and Elvis Presley. Interestingly, Jay decided to have the book read like a play.

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Working with the Jackson 5

Another musically talented family in the 1970s who travelled around was the Jackson Five from Gary, Indiana. It turns out that the Osmonds and the Jacksons would coordinate their shows so that they could be in the same place at the same time. Additionally, the two families would have pick up football games against each other, most notably when the two were in Toronto. It must have been great for the children to be able to relate to kids going through the same stresses.

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Family above all else

The Osmond Clan has grown exponentially over the decades and generations. The starters of the family, Olive and George Osmond, started out with nine children. Today, the family numbers over 55 grandchildren and 70 great grandchildren, equalling over 125 descendants in all. Incredibly while many of the clan went on to be doctors and lawyers, many others chose to remain in music. The family notes that no one was pressured to stay in the industry.

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Seeing the Osmonds

The Osmonds had millions of roaring fans all over the world, and many of them would do literally anything in order to try and just physically touch them. One of the most crazy things that a fan did in order to touch a member of this family was actually mail themselves to the very hotel room that the Osmonds were staying in. We don’t think we would ever be that committed to seeing our favorite band…

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Jimmy and Michael were good friends

Jimmy Osmond and Michael Jackson of the Jackson Five (otherwise known as the King of Pop) were actually incredibly close friends. The two musically inclined families not only sang and performed together a ton, but they also hung out with each other constantly. Funnily enough, it was due to this friendship that the Osmonds learned that many of the songs that were written for them were originally written for the Jackson Five!

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Secret agent Osmond

This is a pretty weird and creepy instance. At one point, the Osmond family was performing at a venue in Florida for their adoring fans. After their wildly successful show, they went back to their hotel room in order to catch some Z’s, but they noticed that there were a ton of ropes hanging from their balconies. As it turns out, two of their fans had gotten climbing rope and were repelling down to hang out with the band.

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Good influences

It must have been weird to discover that there were actually musical influences that the Osmonds followed. They did not have computers, the internet, CDs, tapes, MP3s, anything. So how did they do it? It turns out that the family was exposed to various peoples’ music by going to different variety shows and listening to the other performers. They were able to take multiple different genres and incorporate them into their music.

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Forget the bed, check under the stage

If you can believe this, girls were throwing themselves all over the Osmond brothers. In fact there was one girl who was so keen on meeting the family that she actually hid underneath the stage, trying to come out to say hello while the family was in the middle of a performance. The drummer of the band was in the middle of a performance – a solo actually – when all of a sudden, the girl started hugging one of his legs.GettyImages-3319083

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