Michael Jackson recorded a hit that was originally meant for Donny Osmond, and Donny Osmond got a hit with a song that was originally meant for Michael and his famous brothers, the Jackson Five. It’s funny how things work out sometimes, isn’t it?
Although it’s not the one we normally think of as being one of Michael Jackson’s top hits like “Thriller” or “Beat It,” Jackson hit number one in 1972 when he recorded “Ben.” Jackson even won a Golden Globe for best song in 1972 and was nominated for an Academy Award. But Donny Osmond recently revealed that the hit song was meant for him and not Jackson.
Osmond revealed in an interview with the Huffington Post that the song about a rat was written for the wholesome teen star, but according to Osmond, he “was on tour, and they had to finish the movie.”
“Ben” was written to be included in the soundtrack to the horror movie Willard, about a social outcast who’s tormented by those around him and whose only friends are rats. The soundtrack needed to be finished and, since Osmond was unavailable, the 14-year-old Michael Jackson took his spot.
According to the Examiner, Jackson admitted years later that he only needed one take to cut “Ben,” an especially impressive feat for such a young performer, surprising even himself.
So how does Osmond feel about Jackson getting what should have been his number one hit?
Osmond keeps things in perspective, saying “It wasn’t meant to be [for me].”
Osmond also shared that he had a number one hit around the same time called “Puppy Love,” and that he and Jackson spent many a time “laughing about the fact that I had a hit about a puppy and he had a hit about a rat.”
What’s more is the Osmonds found a hit when they recorded “One Bad Apple,” which Jackson told Donny was originally meant for him and his brothers!
It all turned out for the best, though, with both performers having plenty of hits in their careers.
Osmond has admitted that he’d rather “sing about a puppy” but that “after 40 some-odd years, I finally recorded the song that was written for me.”
Osmond has recorded the Jackson hit and released “Ben” on his latest album The Soundtrack of My Life, which is out today.
This will be the 60th album for Osmond. Hopefully, Osmond can find the same success with it that Michael Jackson did.