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All in the family: sibling acts get compared to the Osmonds

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R5. Courtesy image.

By david burger

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Mar 14 2013 12:35PM
Updated Mar 18, 2013 02:28PM

Every time a family band reaches a certain level of fame and arrives in Utah, it’s compared to The Osmonds.

The comparison usually is incorrect, and often an insult to the Beehive’s most famous musical ambassador family.

But when an actual Osmond gives her seal of approval, we probably should pay attention.

Marie Osmond invited Florida-born siblings Brandon & Savannah to perform on her talk show "Marie" in January, calling them a "teen sensation" on the air.

"There just hasn’t been that many brother-sister acts, so it’s really great when another act joins the club," she said of the pair, introducing them as "the newest brother-sister act on the rise."

The Hudson siblings — Brandon, 15, and Savannah, 13 —will perform for the first time in Utah as part of a Radio Disney-sponsored tour. R5, another act with four members of the same family, headlines the show.

In a telephone interview, Savannah Hudson said it was "such an honor" to be dubbed "the next Osmonds" by so many.

"We’ve been compared to Donny and Marie since we were little," added Brandon Hudson, so it was "surreal" to meet Osmond and receive advice from her after the taping of the show.

"They did so much, they really stood out," he said. "We [too] want to be different from everyone else."

Brandon wrote his first song, "Sometimes," when he was 8. It was a love song, though he now admits that at that point, "I didn’t even know what love was." All he knew is that every song on the radio mentioned the word "love."

The lyrics to "Sometimes" were written in a journal with many other romantic songs, and at first, it got him into trouble. "My mom saw all these notebooks I wrote about love, and she got worried," Brandon said. She immediately took him to a therapist, but the counselor assured the mother her son was fine. Since then, the two write all of their own songs.

Last summer, the guitar-propelled duo performed across the country on the long-running "Camplified" tour. Based on the success of their single "All the Runaways," they’re ready to warm up the crowd for R5 all spring.

Another family act • R5 performed in Utah last summer and is returning to support its new EP, "Loud." The band includes siblings Riker, Rydel, Rocky and Ross Lynch and friend Ellington Ratliff. The Lynch family grew up in Littleton, Colo., before moving to California to pursue music and acting careers.

The family has done well. Riker, the oldest at 21, is one of The Warblers on the Fox TV show "Glee," and 17-year-old Ross has a lead role on the Disney Channel’s hit show "Austin & Ally." The show, created by the people behind Disney Channel sitcoms "Sonny with a Chance" (starring Demi Lovato) and "Jonas" (starring the Jonas Brothers), has been renewed for a third season.

The guitar-propelled pop-rock quintet writes and records songs and on occasion has been compared to a certain famous family from Utah.

"People say Osmonds, the Jackson 5, and I always take it as a compliment," Riker Lynch said in a recent telephone interview.

The group has recorded one song for its first full-length album with Disney’s Hollywood Records, but in the meantime it is promoting "Loud," released on Feb. 19. "We wanted to have a little bit of a teaser," Riker said of the EP. "We wanted [the songs] to be fun and upbeat. We wanted it to be loud."

If the Lynch siblings ever need advice on how to succeed in show business, they can always ask their famous Utah cousins — the talented brother-sister duo of Julianne and Derek Hough, who dance, sing and are veterans of "Dancing With the Stars."

In fact, every few months, the Houghs and Lynches get together in Los Angeles to trade stories and talk shop.

dburger@sltrib.com

Facebook.com/davidlouisburger

Twitter: @davidburger

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