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Marie Osmond rebounds from life’s challenges

With a new talk show in the works for 2009 and a resurgence in popularity from last year’s appearances on “Dancing With the Stars,” 48-year-old entertainer Marie Osmond  says she is thrilled to be professionally relevant and personally content.
/ Source: TODAY contributor

Marie Osmond proudly wore red for National Wear Red Day on Friday, as celebrity spokesperson for the American Heart Association’s “Go Red For Women” campaign.

Clearly, she is over the blues.

With a new talk show in the works for 2009 and a resurgence in popularity from last year’s appearances on “Dancing With the Stars,” the 48-year-old entertainer told TODAY co-host Matt Lauer she is thrilled to be professionally relevant and personally content.

“I feel so blessed to still be here,” Osmond said. “I mean, truly. I’m one of these strange women that has had a 40-year career.”

A life’s journey
Household-name fame came for Osmond in 1976 with her hit country ballad “Paper Roses,” but her career blossomed even more when she began co-hosting the ABC variety show “Donny & Marie” with brother Donny Osmond from 1976-1979.

She had a short-lived marriage in the early 1980s and her career gave way to a new husband and family later in the decade. The mother of eight — including five adopted children — revealed her battles with postpartum depression in the 1990s. Last year, Osmond and her husband, Brian Blosil, announced they were divorcing after 21 years of marriage.

But Osmond said the highs and lows of her personal life and career have made her a survivor — and that will be the appeal of her upcoming syndicated talk show.

“I think that people relate to me,” she said. “I guess a lot of women grew up with me, starting at 14, 12 with my first song. And there’s just been this really cool camaraderie.

“I see a lot of women and I’m a single mom, we all kind of gone through all the stuff, the gamut. And I don’t have a bazillion nannies. I have eight kids. I do it myself. But there are a lot of women out there in the same boat. And I really believe there is a destination for hope and happiness. Not just day-to-day stuff, but just real fun, real things women can relate to.”

Star power
Her time on “Dancing With the Stars” last year, complete with her famous fainting scene, put Osmond back in the spotlight.

She found the feedback of her revamped career inspirational.

“It was so amazing how many thousands and thousands of letters I got from women saying, ‘You know what, you inspired me. You’re in your 40s. You’re doing all of these fun things and that’s what I want it to be,’ ” she said.

Osmond said the show also helped her lose weight at a time when she was trying to do something for herself. And it fed into her mission to create awareness of heart disease, particularly in women.

“I have a lot of reasons to be into this,” Osmond told Lauer. “My grandmother died of it. My mother died of it. My dad died of it. And I’m a candidate.

“About a year ago, my son, my oldest, he said, ‘You’re a single mom. We need you here. You have eight kids.’ It really got me thinking because it’s the No. 1 killer of women. One woman dies every minute in this country from it.”

Osmond said she knew she had to shed the extra pounds.

“I was 40 pounds overweight. The eight years that I was taking care of my parents as they were ailing, I figured I put five pounds on every year. It just sneaks up on you. I said, ‘Wow, I don’t feel good.’ I was having palpitations and things like that and I just said ‘Enough.’ ”

Her own health was not her only concern.

Last November, Osmond revealed that her 16-year-old son Michael had entered a rehab facility. She told Lauer, when he asked, he’s now “doing great.”

“He’s a remarkable young man,” she said. “I’m not going to get into details, but I’m very proud of him. He’s a great kid. And life is life.”