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People Top 5
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- July 17, 1995
- Vol. 44
- No. 3
The Singer Has Lived Clean Since '77, but Still Ties One on in Branson
Which is not to say he hasn't moved on. In 1977, after a string of effervescent pop hits ("Candida," "Knock Three Times," "Gypsy Rose") with his backup singers Dawn, the chunky-heeled crooner announced he was quitting music, a move he now says he made under the influence—or rather the lack thereof. "I quit caffeine, nicotine and cocaine cold turkey," says Orlando. "I thought I was manic depressive, but it was withdrawal and stress."
Four months later he was back, without Dawn (Telma Hopkins now stars in ABC's Family Matters; Joyce Vincent Wilson sings backup for Smokey Robinson). There would be no more hits, but TV movies, Broadway (he starred in Barnum in 1981) and solo performing, he insists, have made him happier than his glory days did. "I'm on top of my game now," says Orlando, who lives in a condo by a lake with his second wife, Frannie Amormino, 38, their daughter Jenny Rose, 3, and his son Jon, 24, from his first marriage. And if you want proof that he has really changed, get this: "Johnny Carson once did a joke about me committing suicide by jumping off my platform shoes," Orlando says. "Back then, I thought, 'These shoes are cool!' Now I think, 'Oh, my God, I wore that stuff?' "
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