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  • Michael Jackson felt The Jackson 5’s “ABC” caused The Osmonds to make different songs.
  • He and his brothers had the same reaction to The Osmonds.
  • The Osmonds had one No. 1 single in the United States.
The Jackson 5 standing in a row
The Jackson 5 | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Michael Jackson felt The Jackson 5’s “ABC” inspired many other groups during the 1970s, including The Osmonds. He said his relatives confused one of The Osmonds’ songs for a Jackson 5 song. Notably, the song in question became The Osmonds’ biggest hit in the United States.

Michael Jackson said The Osmonds and other groups mimicked The Jackson 5’s songs

In his 1988 book Moonwalk, Jackson discussed The Jackson 5 at length. “The Jackson 5 had never had much competition from kids our own age,” he wrote. “In the amateur days, there was a kid’s group called The Five Stairsteps that we used to see. They were good, but they didn’t seem to have the strong family unit that we did, and sadly they broke up.”

Jackson said “ABC” created more competition for The Jackson 5. “After ‘ABC’ hit the charts in such a big way, we started seeing other groups that record companies were grooming to ride the bandwagon we had built,” he said. “I enjoyed all these groups: The Partridge Family, The Osmonds, The DeFranco Family.”

Michael Jackson’s family felt The Osmonds’ ‘One Bad Apple’ sounded like a Jackson 5 song

Jackson elaborated on the ways he felt The Jackson 5 influenced The Osmonds. “The Osmonds were already around, but they were doing a much different style of music, like barbershop harmony and crooning,” Jackson wrote. “As soon as we hit, they and the other groups got into soul real fast.”

Jackson revealed what he and the other members of The Jackson 5 thought of The Osmonds drawing influence from them. “We didn’t mind,” he recalled. “Competition, as we knew, was healthy. Our own relatives thought ‘One Bad Apple’ was us.”


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How ‘One Bad Apple’ performed in the United States and the United Kingdom

“One Bad Apple” became The Osmonds’ biggest hit in the U.S. For five weeks, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100. It stayed on the chart for 15 weeks in total. “One Bad Apple” appeared on the album Osmonds. The album reached No. 14 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 43 weeks.

“One Bad Apple” was far less popular in the United Kingdom. The Official Charts Company reports the song peaked at No. 89 in the U.K. and stayed on the chart for two weeks. Meanwhile, Osmonds did not chart there. “One Bad Apple” also appeared on the compilation album The Very Best of The Osmonds. The compilation reached No. 17 in the U.K., staying on the chart for six weeks.

‘”One Bad Apple” was a hit — whether it sounded like The Jackson 5 or not.