Richard Marx

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Richard Marx
Birth nameRichard Noel Marx
Born (1963-09-16) September 16, 1963 (age 60)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
OriginHighland Park, Illinois, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • guitar[3]
Years active1968–present
Labels Edit this at Wikidata

Richard Noel Marx (born September 16, 1963)[4] is an American adult contemporary and pop rock singer-songwriter. He has sold over 30 million albums worldwide.[5][6]

Marx's first number one success as a songwriter came in 1984 with "What About Me?", which was recorded by Kenny Rogers, Kim Carnes, and James Ingram, and topped the US and Canadian Adult Contemporary charts. His second chart-topper was 1985's "Crazy", a song he co-wrote with Rogers which reached number one in the Hot Country Songs chart. Marx's self-titled debut album went triple-platinum in 1987, and his first single, "Don't Mean Nothing", reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[7][8] Between 1987 and 1994, he had 14 top 20 hits, including three number one singles.[9]

Marx is the only male artist in history to have his first seven singles reach the top 5 of the Billboard charts.[7] He has scored a total of 14 number one singles, both as a performer and as a songwriter/producer.[5] As a singer, his No. 1 hits include "Hazard", "Right Here Waiting", "Hold On to the Nights", "Endless Summer Nights", and "Satisfied".[10] According to Billboard, Marx "holds the distinction of having written songs that have hit No. 1 on various Billboard charts in each of the last four decades."[11]

Marx has written or collaborated on songs with other artists, including "This I Promise You" by NSYNC and "Dance with My Father" by Luther Vandross.[12] Marx has been nominated for five Grammy Awards. In 2003, he won the Grammy for Song of the Year for "Dance with My Father".[13]

Early life[edit]

Marx was born in Chicago, Illinois,[4] the only child of Ruth (née Guildoo), a former singer, and Dick Marx, a jazz musician and founder of a jingle company in the early 1960s. His father was of German-Jewish descent.[14][15] Marx attended North Shore Country Day School.[16] He has three half-siblings from his father's previous marriage.[17]

Music career[edit]

Marx began his career in music at age five, singing commercial jingles written by his father's company; his list of advertising hits includes Arm & Hammer, Ken-L Ration[18] and Nestlé Crunch. Marx was 17 and living in Highland Park, Illinois, when a tape of his songs ended up in the hands of Lionel Richie. Richie thought Marx had talent and told the teen, "I can't promise you anything, but you should come to L.A."[19]

Marx said one of the first musicians he met in Los Angeles was Fee Waybill of the Tubes with whom he has collaborated at least 30 times. They met in a recording studio. In that same 2014 video segment for Ameoba Records. Marx called Waybill "my life-long best friend" and said Waybill is also godfather to his children.[20] Waybill went into great detail about their working relationship in a 2020 interview with American Songwriter. [21]

Debut album and stardom[edit]

Marx's self-titled debut album, released in June 1987, yielded four hit singles and went triple platinum.[7][8] The debut single, "Don't Mean Nothing", is a song about the potential pitfalls of the music business. "Don't Mean Nothing" reached No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on Billboard's Album Rock chart. Marx became the first new artist played on 117 radio stations nationwide during his initial week on the charts. The next two singles, "Should've Known Better" and "Endless Summer Nights", reached No. 3 and No. 2, respectively.[citation needed] The fourth single released from the album, "Hold On to the Nights", earned Marx his first No. 1 hit.[9] The latter three of the album's singles were also hits on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, beginning a long string of hits on that chart.

With the success of his self-titled album, Marx embarked on his first world tour, initially opening for REO Speedwagon, but quickly began headlining his own shows. His first tour kept him on the road for 14 months.[citation needed]

In 1988, Marx was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance – Solo for "Don't Mean Nothing".[22] The same year, the song "Surrender to Me", which he co-wrote with Ross Vanelli, appeared in the film Tequila Sunrise.

Repeat Offender, Marx's second album, was released in May 1989.[citation needed] It rose to No. 1 on Billboard's album chart. It went triple platinum within a few months and eventually sold over 5 million copies in the United States alone. The first two singles, "Satisfied" and the platinum-selling "Right Here Waiting", both reached No. 1.[citation needed]

"Right Here Waiting" was Marx's first No. 1 hit on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart as well as his first big hit outside of North America, reaching No. 1 in several European countries and giving Marx his first top ten hit in the UK. It has been covered numerous times, most notably by Monica and 112 in a 1998 duet. Another single from the album, "Children of the Night", was written and composed in support of a Van Nuys-based organization for runaways. It became the sixth single from Repeat Offender.[citation needed]

Marx performed the Beatles' "Help" at the Berlin Wall in late 1989. Marx also received his second Grammy nomination in 1990 for Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male for "Right Here Waiting".[23]


In 1991, Marx released his third consecutive platinum album Rush Street.[citation needed] The album saw artists such as Luther Vandross and Billy Joel appear as backing vocalists and guest pianists. The disc's first single, "Keep Coming Back", went to No. 12 on the Hot 100 and its second single, "Hazard", made it to No. 9. Both songs hit No. 1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart for four weeks and one week respectively. "Hazard" became Marx's second UK top ten, reaching No. 3.[citation needed]

In early 1994, as he and his family permanently left Los Angeles behind and returned to Chicago, Marx released Paid Vacation, and scored his fourth consecutive platinum album.[citation needed] The acoustic ballad "Now and Forever" peaked at No. 7 on the Hot 100, his final top ten hit on that chart.[citation needed]

The year 1997 saw the release of Flesh and Bone, Marx's final studio album on the Capitol imprint. The disc's first single, "Until I Find You Again", hit No. 3 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart and No. 42 on the Billboard Hot 100.[citation needed]

Marx's Greatest Hits compilation was released in November 1997.[citation needed] The 16-track album includes a variety of hit singles from his first five albums plus "Angel's Lullaby", a song written about his children originally appearing on For Our Children, Too, a compilation CD released in 1996 to benefit the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Greatest Hits was released in Asia in November 1998 and included two new songs, "Slipping Away" and "Thanks to You", a tribute to his mother.[citation needed] The album was certified Gold in the U.S.[citation needed]


In 2000, Marx debuted his sixth studio album, titled Days in Avalon. This disc was released on the Signal 21 Records label founded by Marx and former Blood, Sweat & Tears drummer and record producer Bobby Colomby. [citation needed]

Marx in 2005

After signing a new deal with his former label, Manhattan Records, Marx released the 2004 album My Own Best Enemy.[citation needed]

In 2008, Marx released Duo, on which he collaborated with Vertical Horizon's lead singer Matt Scannell.[citation needed]

On June 12, 2008, Marx was part of a PBS television series called Songwriters in the Round Presents: Legends & Lyrics. In Episode 102 of the first season, Marx appeared along with Kenny Loggins, Nathan Lee, and rock band Three Doors Down. This episode also featured an interview with singer-songwriter Diane Warren.[24][25][26]

On October 31, 2008, "Emotional Remains" and "Sundown" were released, as digital downloads, on Marx's official site.[citation needed]

On December 6, 2008, Marx headlined a fundraiser for cystic fibrosis research, "Newsapalooza", sponsored by WLS-AM's Roe Conn program, in which Marx both performed several of his hits with his band and accompanied Chicago broadcast news reporters and anchors covering rock hits.[27]

In an interview published in Rolling Stone on June 26, 2009, Marx said he was "ashamed" of having been linked to a $1.92 million fine against single mother Jammie Thomas-Rasset by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Rasset had shared 24 songs on the file-sharing website Kazaa in 2005, and Marx's "Now and Forever" was one of them.[28]

Marx played piano on the song "Here" and produced Matt Scannell's vocals on two tracks for Vertical Horizon's 2009 album, entitled Burning the Days.[29][better source needed]


In March 2010, Marx released Stories to Tell, his first fully acoustic album.[citation needed]

On May 3, 2011, Marx was invited onto the stage at the Curran Theater in San Francisco by Hugh Jackman. It was opening night of Hugh Jackman in Performance. Jackman and Marx sang "Right Here Waiting" together, with Marx changing the lyrics of the last chorus to "right here waiting for Hugh".[citation needed]

Also on May 3, 2011, the reissue of Stories to Tell was released in the United States as a three-disc set exclusively through Walmart. The set included a "best of" disc, an acoustic disc of tracks, and a DVD of a live concert performance at the Shepherd's Bush venue in England.[citation needed] The album was also made available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon, but without the bonus DVD and album booklet. "Everybody" was released as a single in Europe and "When You Loved Me" was released in the U.S., peaking in the Top 20 on the Adult Contemporary chart.[30]

In the summer of 2011, Marx collaborated with the internet comedy duo Rhett and Link, producing a celebrity endorsement for a colon-cleansing spa in Sacramento, California. The ad spot and its "making of" was featured on an episode of Rhett and Link's Commercial Kings television series on IFC.[31]

On November 1, 2011, Marx released The Christmas EP, a five-song collection of Christmas songs. In October 2012, Marx followed up The Christmas EP with a full album of holiday tracks that he called Christmas Spirit.[citation needed]

On July 8, 2014, Marx released his eleventh studio album, Beautiful Goodbye.[citation needed]


Marx's next album, Limitless, was released on February 7, 2020.[32][33] Its lead-off single, "Another One Down", hit No. 14 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, giving Marx a span of 32 years at the format.[citation needed]

In 2021, he appeared in the Family Guy episode "Young Parent Trap".[citation needed]

His autobiography Stories to Tell, was released in July 2021.[34]

He appears as himself and performs "Right Here Waiting" in the 200th episode of The Goldbergs, "The Wedding" which aired in March 2022.[35]

His new album Songwriter was released on September 30, 2022, and released the first single Same Heartbreak, Different Day on July 15, 2022. A previous non-album single Just Go that was subsequently released as a bonus track to the Beautiful Goodbye is also on this album, along with the studio version of Moscow Calling that had also been a bonus track to Beautiful Goodbye as a remix.


Personal life[edit]

On January 8, 1989, Marx married singer, dancer, and actress Cynthia Rhodes, who appeared in Staying Alive, Flashdance, and Dirty Dancing.[4] Rhodes appeared as the female lead in Marx's first video, "Don't Mean Nothing". In April 2014, the couple announced they were divorcing.[36]

On December 23, 2015, Marx married Daisy Fuentes in Aspen, Colorado.[37][38]

On December 21, 2016, it was reported that Marx helped Korean Air flight attendants pacify an unruly, possibly intoxicated passenger while he and his wife were aboard a flight bound from Hanoi to Seoul,[39][40] even providing photographic evidence of the incident.[41][42][43] He also criticized the airline's handling of the situation. In response, Korean Air stated that they would respond more assertively to similar situations in the future.[44]


Studio albums[edit]


Year Film/Show Role Notes
1980 Coach of the Year Himself Credited as Richard Marks
2008 Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band Live 2006 Himself
2008 Legends and Lyrics Vol 2 Himself
2010 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Himself Episode: "Greene Machine"
2011 Stories to Tell Himself London, England
2012 A Night Out with Friends Himself Taped at Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Illinois
2014 Back in the Day Neighbor
2017 Life in Pieces Buddy Daquiri Episode: "Poison Fire Teats Universe"
2017 Drop the Mic Himself Episode: "Wayne Brady vs. Jake Owen/Kenny G vs. Richard Marx"
2018 The Bachelorette Himself Episode: 3
2021 Family Guy Himself Episode: "Young Parent Trap"
2021 Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Himself Episode: "Full Frontal Wants to Take Your Guns"
2022 The Goldbergs Himself Episode: "The Wedding"

Awards and nominations[edit]

ASCAP Pop Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
1986 "What About Me?" Most Performed Songs Won [45]
"Crazy" Won
1989 "Endless Summer Nights" Won [46]
"Hold On to the Nights" Won
"Should've Known Better" Won
1990 "Satisfied" Won [46]
"Right Here Waiting" Won
1991 Won [47]
"Angelia" Won
1994 "Take This Heart" Won [48]
"Now and Forever" Won
1996 "The Way She Loves Me" Won [49]
2002 "This I Promise You" Won [50]
2005 "Dance with My Father" Won

Grammy Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1986 St. Elmo's Fire Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media Nominated
1988 "Don't Mean Nothing" Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male Nominated
1990 "Right Here Waiting" Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male Nominated
2004 "Dance with My Father" Song of the Year Won
Best R&B Song Nominated

Billboard Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1987[51] Himself Top New Artist Nominated
Top Billboard 200 Artist Nominated
Top Hot 100 Artist Nominated
Top Hot 100 Artist – Male Nominated
Richard Marx Top Billboard 200 Album Nominated
"Don't Mean Nothing" Top Hot 100 Song Nominated
1988 Himself Top Artist Nominated
Top Male Artist Nominated
Top Billboard 200 Artist Nominated
Top Billboard 200 Artist – Male Nominated
Top Hot 100 Artist Nominated
Top Hot 100 Artist – Male Nominated
Top Adult Contemporary Artist Nominated
Top Adult Contemporary Artist – Male Nominated
Richard Marx Top Billboard 200 Album Nominated
1994 Himself Top Adult Contemporary Artist Nominated
"Now and Forever" Top Adult Contemporary Track Nominated

Other awards

Year Awards Work Category Result
1988 Pollstar Concert Industry Awards Tour Club Tour of the Year Nominated
1990 Kids Choice Awards Himself Favorite Male Musician Nominated
American Music Awards Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist Nominated
ASCAP Film & TV Awards "Surrender to Me" Most Performed Song from Motion Picture Won
2013 O Music Awards Himself Must Follow Artist on Twitter Nominated


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  3. ^ Kolton, Alex (October 6, 2022). "Richard Marx at The Union Chapel". the American. Retrieved February 26, 2023.
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  5. ^ a b "Live from The GRAMMY Museum: Richard Marx – GRAMMY Museum". Retrieved September 19, 2021.
  6. ^ "Richard Marx Signs Wide-Ranging Deal With BMG". Variety. April 26, 2019. Retrieved September 19, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Feely, Paul (March 21, 2019). "Richard Marx 'Right Here Waiting' for another show in NH".
  8. ^ a b "Hit-Maker Richard Marx Doesn't Split Hairs : Pop music: The singer with the famed mane shrugs off his critics and looks for respect". Los Angeles Times. July 6, 1990.
  9. ^ a b "Richard Marx's Top 10 Biggest Billboard Hits". December 21, 2016.
  10. ^ "Richard Marx's Top 10 Biggest Billboard Hits". Billboard. December 21, 2016. Retrieved September 19, 2021.
  11. ^ "Why Richard Marx Is Finally Celebrating After Four Decades of Hits". Billboard. December 16, 2019. Retrieved September 19, 2021.
  12. ^ Eskow, Gary (September 1, 2004). "Richard Marx". Mixonline. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011.
  13. ^ "Grammy Award results for Richard Marx". November 23, 2020. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  14. ^ "Grammy Jews".
  15. ^ Marx, Richard [@richardmarx] (March 20, 2018). "My grandfather was a Jew from Frankfurt who lost family in the camps and still the fact that this comedian is being jailed in the UK should frighten all of us" (Tweet). Archived from the original on May 25, 2021. Retrieved July 5, 2021 – via Twitter.
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  18. ^ Armbrust, Doyle (April 7, 2010). "Marx the spot – Music". Time Out Chicago. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
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  22. ^ "Biography and Career Highlights". Archived from the original on January 7, 2007. Retrieved April 15, 2007.
  23. ^ "32nd Grammy Awards – 1990 presented February 22, 1990". Rock on the Net. Retrieved April 15, 2007.
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  25. ^ "About". Legends and Lyrics/American Public Television. Archived from the original on April 20, 2009. Retrieved May 11, 2009.
  26. ^ "Nathan Lee". Legends and Lyrics/American Public Television. Archived from the original on June 11, 2009. Retrieved May 11, 2009.
  27. ^ "Speaking with Richard Marx". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on October 5, 2009. Retrieved December 13, 2007.
  28. ^ "Richard Marx "Ashamed" He's Linked to $1.92 Million RIAA Fine Against Minnesota Mom". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 27, 2009. Retrieved June 25, 2009.
  29. ^ "Band". Archived from the original on August 12, 2009. Retrieved July 29, 2009.
  30. ^ Trust, Gary (May 23, 2012). "Richard Marx Celebrates 25 Years on Billboard Charts". Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  31. ^ Gianatasio, David (August 4, 2011). "Richard Marx Finds His Calling as Colon-Cleanser Spokesman". AdWeek. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  32. ^ Hafey, Lisa (March 23, 2020). "Richard Marx Is 'Limitless' With New Album Out On BMG".
  33. ^ "Richard Marx 'Limitless' New Album release date March 27th 2020". March 3, 2020.
  34. ^ Sun-Times, Selena Fragassi-For the (July 5, 2021). "Richard Marx memoir recalls his adventures, from Highland Park to Malibu". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  35. ^ Hall, Gerrad (February 21, 2022). "Erica and Geoff are getting married on 'The Goldbergs' — see first look at their wedding". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  36. ^ "Richard Marx and Cynthia Rhodes Divorcing After 25 Years of Marriage". US Magazine. April 4, 2014. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  37. ^ "Wedding Announcement". Richard Marx Music Official Facebook. December 25, 2015. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  38. ^ "PEOPLE WATCH - Fuentes, Marx wed". The (Sunbury, Pennsylvania) Daily Item: B2. December 27, 2015.
  39. ^ "Richard Marx helps subdue unruly passenger mid flight". Reuters. Retrieved September 19, 2017 – via The Star.
  40. ^ "Singer Richard Marx 'restrains unruly man' on Korean Air flight". BBC. December 21, 2016. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  41. ^ Marx, Richard [@richardmarx] (December 20, 2016). "You will be hearing about our flight#480 on @KoreanAir_KE. Passenger next to us attacked passengers and crew. Crew completely ill trained" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  42. ^ Marx, Richard [@richardmarx] (December 20, 2016). "Korean Air 480" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  43. ^ Marx, Richard [@richardmarx] (December 20, 2016). "Korean Air 480" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  44. ^ Jin, Hyunjoo (December 27, 2016). "Stun guns and male crew: Korean Air to get tough on unruly passengers". Reuters. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  45. ^ "Billboard". June 14, 1986.
  46. ^ a b DiMartino, Dave (May 27, 1989). "Gibson, Springsteen Share ASCAP Songwriter Award" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 101, no. 21. p. 64.
  47. ^ DiMartino, Dave (May 25, 1991). "Warren, Collins, EMI Take ASCAP's Top Song Honors" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 103, no. 21. p. 71.
  48. ^ "Billboard". May 21, 1994.
  49. ^ "Billboard". June 1996.
  50. ^ "2002 ASCAP Pop Music Awards: Honorees". February 1, 2014. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  51. ^ "1987 The Year in Music & Video". Billboard. December 26, 1987. pp. Y19-26 – via Google Books.

External links[edit]