Richard Marx, hit-making songwriter, returns to Fraze Saturday



Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Richard Marx, performing at Kettering’s Fraze Pavilion on Saturday, June 24, has been a hit-making machine since his self-titled debut album was released in 1987. The album went on to triple-platinum sales and yielded three hit singles, “Don’t Mean Nothing” and “Should’ve Known Better,” which both peaked at No. 3 and “Endless Summer Nights,” which hit No. 2.

Marx has gone on to place 14 other songs in the Top 10 and rack up album sales in excess of 30 million copies worldwide. He hit No. 1 twice with the singles “Satisfied” and “Right Here Waiting,” both off his No. 1 charting sophomore album, “Repeat Offender.” The latter song was also a smash on the Adult Contemporary chart, which would become his normal domain moving forward.

Marx’s knack for crafting hits didn’t go unnoticed. He ended up writing and producing material for acts as diverse as Barbara Streisand, Lifehouse and Jennifer Nettles. He wrote No. 1 hits for Kenny Rogers and N’Sync and won the Grammy for Song of the Year for “Dance With My Father,” which he co-wrote with Luther Vandross. Of course, that kind of success takes a lot of work and sacrifice.

“There came a point after the first eight or 10 years of my career I was burnt out on touring,” Marx said. “By the time I got to the late ‘90s, I had toured so much and so incessantly and done so many shows that I sort of lost the joy of it. It just started to become a grind for me. My kids were young then and I really felt like I was missing out on life at home.”



Breaking the mold

Like he’d been doing his entire career, Marx used the unexpected time off the road during the pandemic to write and record. He wrote songs with Burt Bacharach, Keith Urban, Darius Rucker, Chris Daughtry and others. The finished album was something very different for Marx. “Songwriter,” released in 2022, is divided into four segments, each with five songs in one distinct style.

“It was a pandemic record, so it was formulated during that time,” Marx said. “As a creator, I spent some time thinking about what I really wanted to work on. I found myself torn a little bit. As a songwriter I’ve been fortunate to be able to participate in so many styles of music. I’ve written for country artists, R&B artists and rock acts. As an artist there has been this sort of unwritten rule to stay in your lane and stick in a general direction. I finally decided to embrace as an artist what I’ve been fortunate enough to do as a songwriter. I went with pop, rock, country and ballads. It was a really enjoyable album to make over that two years and the response to it was incredible. I was really, really pleased.”

Check out the lyric video for “Shame on You” from Richard Marx’s album, “Songwriter” (2022):

Back in the zone

When coronavirus restrictions were lifted, Marx returned to touring with the same joy he had pre-lockdown.

“Coming back to it after COVID I picked it up right where I left off,” Marx said. “I was already in a state of gratitude that was elevated from before in my career, so I kicked it into overdrive. It’s completely back to normal now. In the last year, I’ve been to 27 cities in Europe, and I did a dozen shows in Australia. I’ve got dates in southeast Asia coming up. I’m sure I’ll go back to South America sometime next year. It really feels like it all never happened. I hardly think about it anymore.”



Like many musical acts, summer is normally an active touring season for Marx. He’s taking a different approach this year and just doing select dates.

“Up until this point it has been pretty show-dominant, which has been great,” Marx said. “I’ve been busy and now we’re kind of settling into maybe 12 shows over the summer. That’s kind of perfect for the summer because I can really hang out and be with my family and my wife and enjoy a great summer. It’s going to be more of a balance, but I really can’t wait to do the shows we have coming up this summer. We have Starship with Mickey Thomas at the Fraze so it’s going to be very fun. He’s in his early 70s and he sounds phenomenal. I’ve never had a show at the Fraze that wasn’t a party. It’s a really fun place to play and those kinds of outdoor summer shows are their own kind of magic. I always look at it like it’s going to be the best one yet.”

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or


What: Mix 107.7 SummerFest with Richard Marx and special guest Starship featuring Mickey Thomas

Where: Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering

When: Saturday, June 24 at 8 p.m.

Cost: $39.50 lawn and terrace, $60 orchestra. Ticket prices increase $5 day of show.

More info: 937-296-3300 or

Artist info:

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