Former Child Star Jimmy Osmond Talks Finances And Working With Michael Jackson

Sources: This Is Money – By Donna Ferguson | All Things Michael

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Former child pop star Jimmy Osmond lost £1.3million in the US property crash in 2008 but he still believes investing in bricks and mortar is more likely to pay off than investing in shares.

Osmond, who made around $5million in a single year in his mid-20s and now fritters away a five-figure sum playing golf each year, earned his first pay cheque as an artist at the age of three.

But he says everything he has today is thanks to his own hard work. He was never given any money by his family, American pop group The Osmonds. He rose to fame as the youngest member of the sibling band.

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In 1972, at the age of eight, he had a British number one solo hit with Long Haired Lover From Liverpool and went on to record six solo albums and produce live events for artists such as Michael Jackson.

Now 52, he will be touring the UK later this year with The Osmonds as part of the ‘Andy Williams Christmas Spectacular’. He and wife Michelle, 49, live in Utah and have four children: Sophia, 21, Zachary, 17, Wyatt, 15, and 13-year-old Bella.

WHAT DID YOUR PARENTS TEACH YOU ABOUT MONEY?

My father taught me the value of a dollar. When I was eight, I thought I was big stuff and I remember telling him: ‘Hey Dad, my record is number one, isn’t that cool?’ He responded by giving me a stick with a poker on it to pick up litter and said: ‘Go clean the yard.’

HOW MUCH POCKET MONEY DID YOU GET AS A CHILD?

It’s strange, I never got any. But I was well taken care of. Money was always there – I never worried about it. By the time I was 13, I always had a couple of hundred bucks in my pocket and a few thousand in the bank. When I was 14, I owned my first house. I’d live there and then I’d go home to my parents when I got scared. It was a bizarre way of growing up.

WHAT WAS THE FIRST PAID WORK YOU EVER DID?

Appearing on the Andy Williams show when I was three. I was paid maybe $50 [the equivalent of £250 today].

HAVE YOU EVER STRUGGLED TO MAKE ENDS MEET?

Yes. My family made a lot of money – but we lost a lot too. When I was 16, our partnerships severed and I remember being asked not to keep touring with the band because there would be more money for everyone else if I didn’t go. My parents were on a mission for our church at the time. I didn’t have anywhere to go, really.

WHAT DID YOU DO NEXT?

Although I was well known, there I was without money. So I went down to Los Angeles and read for any part, begged for anything I could do. I ended up scoring a job on TV series Famed and The Love Boat.

WHAT IS THE BEST MONEY DECISION YOU EVER MADE?

When I was 17, I sold my car to finance making a record in Japan, Kimi Wa Pretty [You’re So Pretty]. It went platinum and saved my life. I ended up with a TV series doing a variety show in Japan.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN PAID SILLY MONEY FOR A JOB?

When I did I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2005, I was shocked by how much they paid me. Because I turned it down three times, the money just kept growing. I was one of the highest paid on the show. I signed a contract so I can’t disclose how much, but it was a good six-figure sum.

WHAT WAS YOUR BEST YEAR FINANCIALLY?

It was 2008 – the year I produced the final big tour for my family, our 50th anniversary tour. We sold out concerts in minutes and toured all over the world. I made more than a million dollars.

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WAS THAT THE MOST YOU’VE EVER MADE IN A YEAR?

No. It was the most fulfilling. When I was 24, I produced Michael Jackson’s tour and packaged the sponsorship. That was an amazing year financially.

SO HOW MUCH DID YOU MAKE THAT YEAR?

I would have to kill you if I told you. You could say it was close to $5million (£3.2million).

Osmond discussed his lifelong friendship with Jackson in 2009  with the Deseret News after his death:

“Michael reached a whole different level of celebrity,” Jimmy Osmond said. “He did things that were so revolutionary and so on the edge. We’ve never gone there.”

The youngest Osmond brother recalls playing soccer with the Jackson Five “in the halls of a hotel, while 5,000 girls were outside screaming in hysteria.” He remembers going swimming at the Jackson home in California decades ago, and remembers the King of Pop as having a “huge heart.”

“The entertainment business can be such a phony, fake business, but as a human being, he was wonderful,” he said.

Jackson later accepted one of Osmond’s brokering deals when his album “Bad” was released overseas in 1987. The move bolstered the relatively young broker’s career, giving him even more opportunity than he believes he would have had without working with such a popular man or event.

“Because he took a shot with me in the past, and took a couple of my deals, he really blessed my personal life,” Osmond said. “He opened up a whole world of credibility for me, not only being a performer but brokering other high-end deals for performers.”

Read the full article at thisismoney.co.uk

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