For over 20 years, Richard Marx has consistently and powerfully made his mark on the music industry. His debut single “Don’t Mean Nothing” and self-titled debut album kicked off his career as a solo artist in 1987 and went on to sell three million copies. His 1989 follow-up CD, Repeat Offender, became even more successful, selling over seven million copies worldwide. From 1987 to 1990, he became the first male solo artist in history to have his first seven singles reach the Top Five on Billboard’s singles chart, including the Number One hits “Hold On to the Nights”, “Satisfied” and the worldwide classic, “Right Here Waiting”. This feat remains unchallenged.
He was nominated for Grammy awards three times and received an American Music Award nomination for favorite male singer. In 1992, he was awarded Best Selling Adult Contemporary Artist at the Billboard Music awards, and received the International Song of the Year Award at the Australian Music awards for his song, “Hazard”, from his double platinum CD, Rush Street. Paid Vacation (1994) also went platinum and featured the single, “Now and Forever” which not only went Top Ten on the Billboard Pop Chart, but spent a nearly record breaking thirteen weeks at Number One on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart. In addition to selling over 30 million records, and writing, as of 2009, thirteen Number One songs, he remained a fixture on pop and adult contemporary radio for years, even as he emerged as a top producer working with some of the biggest names in the music business. Among those artists, *NSYNC, Barbra Streisand, Josh Groban, Vince Gill, 98 Degrees, Luther Vandross, Kenny Rogers, Sarah Brightman, Lara Fabian, Sister Hazel, The Tubes and SHeDAISY. More recently, he has written and produced records for Daughtry, Leann Rimes, Katherine Jenkins, Travis Tritt, Emerson Drive, Natalie Cole, Keith Urban, Paulina Rubio, Kenny Loggins, Chris Botti, Michael Bolton, and actor Hugh Jackman.
As his career began in 1987, Richard immediately got involved with many charitable organizations. By donating the royalties from his 1987 hit single, “Should’ve Known Better”, he helped build a room at the NYU Medical Center where pediatric cancer patients can play while at the hospital. In 1989, he wrote and recorded the song “Children of the Night” about the plight of homeless children on the streets and donated all the song’s royalties to the Children of the Night Foundation, which houses and reforms street kids. To date, the song has raised over $500,000. Additionally, he has performed benefit concerts for many organizations, including the TJ Martell Foundation, Toys for Tots, Make a Wish Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Best Buddies, and the Special Olympics. In 2005, Richard and his band flew to Kitzingen, Germany to perform for US troops stationed there, and as of 2008, he hosts an annual event in Chicago for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. The first event featured a concert by Richard and the legendary Kenny Rogers.
Perhaps closest to Richard’s heart is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, whom he aligned with in 2000. He organized what has become an annual benefit concert to raise funds for research to cure the disease. The multi act, all-star concerts have, thus far, raised over three million dollars.
In February 2004, Richard won the Song of the Year Grammy for “Dance with My Father”, which he wrote with the late Luther Vandross. It was a big night for several reasons. “It was the award itself,” says Richard. “For me and more importantly for Luther. I was proud.”
“Better Life”, a song written by Richard and Keith Urban which was included in Keith’s last CD, the triple platinum Be Here, was the biggest hit single from the CD, spending six consecutive weeks at Number One on Billboard’s Country Singles chart.
In the summer of 2006, Richard was asked to join Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band for a North American tour of 22 cities. Richard played guitar in the band supporting Ringo and others, including Billy Squier, and performed his own hits at each show. Ringo and Richard recently co-wrote a song for Ringo’s upcoming CD in 2010.
In 2007, Keith Urban released another song co-written by Richard, “Everybody” from his Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing CD. The song went Top Five on the Country charts.
In 2008, Richard began touring with Vertical Horizon lead singer, Matt Scannell, as an acoustic duo. They released a CD, Duo on iTunes, and played shows throughout the US. They continue to do occasional shows together and are releasing a live CD in early 2010, followed by an electric rock record as a duo.
Richard released a new solo CD, Emotional Remains (2009). The modern rock record, produced by Richard, features contributions by Matt Scannell, Jennifer Hanson and Kenny Loggins. The album is a bit of a departure for Marx, with a brand of rock that some may not think is synonymous with the artist, writer, and producer that has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.
Whether it’s “Better or Worse”, an undeniably catchy and inspirational rock ballad, or the faster-paced “From the Inside”, which features a darkly confessional lyric backed by a wall of guitars, the tracks are poised to join Richard’s existing arsenal of hits.
The forthcoming album also contains some of the chart topper’s most ambitious and personal works to date. The songs possess the heartfelt vocals found in all of Marx’s signature songs, but with a rock edge. From “Through My Veins”, a poignant tribute to Richard’s father to “When November Falls”, a loving father/son ballad that Richard dedicated to his sons. Emotional Remains features songs co-written by Matt Scannell of Vertical Horizon, Fee Waybill of The Tubes, and singer/songwriter Graham Colton.
Marx adds, “This recording is certainly evidence of the music that I’ve been listening to over the last few years, and vocally it took me to a different place than where I’ve been.”