Richard Marx

  • Pop-rock singer, songwriter and musician born in Chicago Illinois in 1963.
  • Marx’s father was a jazz musician who owned a company that produced commercial jingles. At the age of 5, Richard began his music career singing jingles for his father’s clients, including Arm & Hammer and Nestlé Crunch Bars. At 17, a tape of songs written and sung by Marx somehow landed in the lap of Lionel Richie. Richie liked Marx’s vocals, and Richie encouraged Marx to move to Los Angeles to sing backing vocals for him, beginning in 1982. As Marx became established in the business, he sang back-up for many artists, including Whitney Houston, Julio Iglesias, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, and Chicago. He also wrote songs for artists like Kenny Rogers, and for the soundtrack to the film St. Elmo’s Fire. In 1986, he was signed to a recording contract.
  • Marx released his debut album in 1987 – the self titled Richard Marx. It was a huge success – certified 3x platinum, it contained four singles that reached the top 3 of the Hot 100 chart. In doing so, Marx became only the second artist to achieve this with a debut album (the first was Whitney Houston). The songs were rockers Don’t Mean Nothing and Should’ve Known Better, along with power ballads Endless Summer Nights and his first #1 song, Hold On To the Nights. 
  • His follow up album, Repeat Offender, was released in 1989. It became his best selling album, topping the album chart and receiving a 4x platinum certification. Two songs topped the Hot 100 – Satisfied and Right Here Waiting, with the latter also topping the Adult Contemporary chart and making Marx an International superstar. A third single, Angelina, peaked at #4 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the AC chart.
  • In 1991, the Rush Street album was released. The singles Keep Coming Back and Hazard both topped the AC chart and were #12 and #9 respectively on the Hot 100. A third single, Take This Heart, reached the top 20 of the pop chart and #4 on the AC chart. His last platinum album was 1994’s Paid Vacation. It included Now and Forever, which topped the AC chart and was #7 on the Hot 100.
  • Marx’s final album of the 90s was released in 1997 – Flesh and Bone. While it did not sell as well as his earlier work, he continued to chart highly on the AC chart, with Until I Find You Again reaching #3. That same year, he collaborated with Donna Lewis on a song for the soundtrack to the animated film Anastacia – At the Beginning reached #2 on the AC chart.
  • Into the new century, Marx no longer made hits that charted on the pop chart, but he continued to release singles that were top 30 hits on the AC chart. Between 2000 and 2019, he had 10 singles make that chart, with his cover of the Christmas standard Little Drummer Boy reaching #7 in 2012, and Another One Down from his twelfth album Limitless peaking at #14 in 2019. He also had success as a writer and producer. He won his only Grammy award as the co-writer of the Luther Vandross song Dance With My Father – it received the Song of the Year Grammy in 2004 (Marx has been nominated for five Grammy awards during his career). He also produced and/or wrote material that was recorded by ‘NSYNC, Josh Groban, SHeDAISY, Michael Bolton, Kenny Loggins, Barbra Streisand, 98 Degrees and dozens of others. In 2006, he toured as a member of Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band.
  • To me, when I think late 80s power ballad, Marx is near the front of the line. Like most of the power ballad kings, he could rock, he had big feathery hair, his videos had hot chicks, maybe a sax solo in the middle of the song – the perfect late 80s rock star formula. If you’re a woman in your 40s or 50s today, you probably still sing his songs. Watch his video to one of his #1 hits, Right Here Waiting. Man, wish I had that hair!

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