LITTLE BIG MAN: If you’ve been keeping...


LITTLE BIG MAN: If you’ve been keeping track of the details of Michael Jackson’s tour of Japan, you may suddenly feel a lot older. The man who raised the money and set up the sponsorship deals to bring Jackson to Japan was . . . Jimmy Osmond.

That’s right: Donny & Marie’s younger brother--the very same Little Jimmy Osmond who had a Top 40 novelty hit in 1972 with “Long-Haired Lover From Liverpool.” He’s now a 24-year-old global entrepreneur, with offices in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Provo, Utah, and Los Angeles.

Osmond told Pop Eye that he first broached the idea of working with Jackson four years ago when he and Donny were at the Jacksons’ home in Encino. “Michael knew I did a lot of business in Japan, and he said, ‘Maybe you can do something for me.’


“It took me two years to put it together, because I wanted to make sure he was with the best companies. I represent NTV (Nippon Television), which is the largest network in Japan. I brought them in, and also negotiated with Pepsi (Jackson’s worldwide sponsor) to have a co-sponsor, Nippon Telephone & Telegraph, which is the largest corporation in Japan.

“It was real hard to put together, because it’s such a big show,” said Osmond. “But nobody lost on the deal. Nobody got hurt.

“A lot of entertainers that I meet are very frustrated because they only do one thing. What I’ve been able to do is enjoy performing for what it is but at the same time use the relationships I’ve made in a positive way to really secure my future. That’s brought me more satisfaction and peace of mind and self-respect than anything I’ve ever done.”

Osmond’s activities have included taking the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and the “Disney on Ice” show to Japan, setting up hotel chains in different countries and placing dates for a variety of artists.

But his biggest score is personally buying back the Utah studio complex that his family sold seven years ago. Osmond said he bought it for $2.5 million and plans to spend $3 million more on equipment.

Osmond said it hasn’t been hard for him to live down his pre -teen idol past.

“It has always worked to my benefit,” he said. “I can get in places that a lot of people can’t. I’m not embarrassed by what I’ve done. In any business, you look at a problem, and it can be a positive or a negative. That usually depends upon you and how you handle it. I’ve used it as an edge.”