Their love for each other will last for eternity. Richard Marx and Daisy Fuentes get candid about their relationship and how much adoration they have for one another … now and forever.
Richard, tell us about your formative years.
I was born and raised in Chicago and both my parents were in music. My father was a brilliant jazz pianist but also had a very successful career as a writer and producer of commercial jingles. Many very famous ones. My mother was a big band singer and later sang on my dad’s jingles.
When did you realize you had a singing talent?
I think I sang before I talked. I was always singing, and everyone could tell even when I was very young that I could sing in tune. I started singing professionally on some of my father’s jingles when I was five or six. And I started writing songs at around age fifteen.
You shot to stardom in the late 1980s with your hits ‘Right Here Waiting’, ‘Too late to say goodbye’, ‘Hold on to the nights’, ‘Don’t’ means nothing’, ‘Now and Forever’ to name but a few. I still have some of your records, yes records! And CDs. Talk us through the journey of fame and hopefully fortune?
I worked very hard to develop my career, and I was very fortunate. I’ve had a career as a recording artist that I’m very proud of; I have had a second career as a writer and producer for other artists which has been equally thrilling for me, and now I’m enjoying being mostly a touring performer. The catalog of songs I’ve written which I get to play every night is something I never take for granted.
I remember being invited to one of your concerts in South Africa (I think it was at Sun City) in the 1990s and all I needed was an airline ticket. I never managed to go – what were your impressions of South Africa and did you visit again after that concert?
I honestly don’t know why we never returned to perform in South Africa. We played three nights in Sun City in ’95. Huge crowds. GREAT crowds. And no disrespect to Sun City, but I felt like I didn’t really get to experience South Africa. Without going to Johannesburg or Cape Town it seems I had a very limited look. I’m dying to come back, either on tour or as a tourist, or both.
Did you adapt your musical style as time passed or are your older songs still in demand?
I feel my writing changed and developed over the years and continues to. And I’m a bigger fan of my more recent songs and records than the older ones, but I love them all. I still have a blast playing the old songs, and the fans come to hear those songs so …. it’s all good.
Doesn’t it ever get ‘old’ singing the same songs over and over again?
Never. I love those songs. And every audience is new. I have the greatest job on earth.
More than three decades in the music industry. That’s absolutely incredible! Were there ever times when you wanted to hang up the microphone and do something different?
No, never. I’m still mystified by the writing process and I’ve never enjoyed my time onstage more than I do now. Why would I want to stop doing something I love?
Apart from singing, you are also a gifted songwriter. You co-authored the Luther Vandross hit ‘Dance With my Father’. Which other talents do you have?
Well, I’ve written many songs with and for many artists besides Luther, whom I loved very much. As for my other talents, you could ask my wife about that. J
You have three sons, Brandon (28), Lucas (26) and Jesse (24). Jesse plays in your band and obviously inherited your musical talents. What do your other sons do?
They’re all incredibly talented singers and songwriters and producers. Like … SERIOUSLY good! They’re all trying to carve out careers in music. But they’re also really good human beings which are even more important.
What is ‘tour life’ like?
Lately, it’s been not only successful but really enjoyable. I feel very lucky to be able to play so many shows in so many parts of the world. But now I also have my wife accompanying me on many of the trips which makes it like a vacation. Instead of playing to a loving, screaming audience and then going back to a hotel room alone, I walk offstage, and Daisy has arranged a great place nearby to have dinner or a beautiful place to hike during the day. I have the best travel partner.
Daisy, tell us a bit about your formative years?
I was born in Havana, Cuba. My family left as political exiles when I was three and we moved to Spain where I lived until I was almost nine. Then we moved to New Jersey! My young parents were looking for more opportunities.
You have a long history presenting various television shows. Which one has stood out for you and why?
I would say “MTV’s House of Style” because it really solidified my connection to the world of fashion at a time when there were no social media. We were providing the only real inside and behind the scenes look at that world. It was groundbreaking and truly thrilling for me.
You are also a model. Which destinations that you have visited as a model have left a lasting impression and why?
I actually traveled a whole lot more like a television presenter than as a model, between my days at MTV and hosting various Miss Universe events. I’ve traveled all over the world. Namibia, Ecuador, London, Buenos Aires, Panama and Madrid to name just a few. They’re all uniquely different and I’m so grateful to have experienced so many fascinating cultures.
How do you stay in such incredible shape?
First of all, thank you. I consider it more a constant work in progress. I try to make health and fitness more of a lifestyle rather than something I just do from time to time. I enjoy being outdoors, so I disguise my workouts as fun outings such as hiking, tennis, beach walks, and swimming. When I’m forced to work out indoors, I do various circuit training routines just to try to make it more fun. Although I’ve always tried to eat healthily, a few years ago after a lot of research I transitioned to an all plant-based diet and my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.
Your skin is perfect. What is your beauty regime?
Again, thank you. I believe beauty starts from the inside out. I feed myself wholesome, nutrient-dense foods. Superfoods. Things that are scientifically connected to natural anti-aging. I also keep my skin cleansed, hydrated and protected from the sun with a high SPF. And some eye-shadows and lip-glosses from my Daisy Fuentes Cosmetics line don’t hurt!
You are quite vocal about animal rights and rescuing animals in dire situations, which is a very noble cause. I see you believe in ‘adopt don’t shop’?
I did a lot of research on this even before I rescued the Bronx, our first. Nearly 3 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. And though puppy mills are still legal in the US, if you look into it, many of them have horrible conditions and produce animals with all kinds of health issues. This translates to huge vet bills and owners who eventually just surrender the animals to kill shelters because they can’t deal with it. I like to suggest to people who love dogs to try fostering, or helping their local shelters by posting dog adoptions on their social media or just getting the word out.
Tell us about your philanthropic side?
I believe it is a privilege to have a voice and a platform to highlight causes and organizations that I think are doing amazing work. Some organizations near and dear to my heart that I have championed publicly are St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and The Humane Society, but privately there are quite a few others I support, as well.
You launched your own clothing line in 2004, have your own haircare range, fragrances, sunglasses, and accessories. To what do you attribute the success of all these different aspects?
Taking a chance on an opportunity. I started endorsing products I believed in at a time when most celebrities were turning down such offers. Soon after I thought, “Why should I keep using my celebrity to endorse other products when I could be doing the same thing for my own company and products?” I started it thinking it would be a hobby, but it quickly turned into a great business. I put together a great team and we developed each category with thoughtfulness. We’ve had a lot of fun and put lots of love into growing this brand into what it is today.
Congratulations on your nuptials! You were married on 23 December 2015 in Aspen, Colorado. Can you recall that special day for us?
Daisy: It was the most perfect, romantic, beautiful day. It was a small intimate ceremony surrounded by only immediate family and the most breathtaking scenery.
Richard: It really was perfect. Aspen has been a consistent part of our love story and we were already going to be spending the holidays there with our families, so it made sense to get married then and there. I love that we were engaged for just over a month. When you know, you know.
When did you realize the other was ‘the one’?
Richard: I had a feeling the very first night we had dinner together. Our relationship took its time from there, but I felt something for Daisy that was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. From the moment I met her.
Daisy: I hate to say that after years of being single, I may have become a little … jaded. Although I would’ve never admitted it at the time. I knew from the very beginning that I loved spending time with him more than anyone, but there was something in the way he looked at me that was telling me everything that I needed to know.
Where did you go on a honeymoon?
Richard: We never actually took what we labeled a honeymoon. We travel so much together and take trips to beautiful and exotic places literally every few months. So, our life is one continuous amazing honeymoon.
Richard, your song ‘Beautiful Goodbye’ is so moving. It stars your stunning wife! The poignant lyrics say ‘nothing lasts forever’. With both of you having been married before, how will you ensure that this marriage last forever?
Richard: Writing that song together as part of our courtship, and I love the naked truth in the lyrics. The concept was Daisy’s idea. Instead of a typical breakup song that mourns the end of a relationship, it celebrates that two people shared something beautiful for however long they did. And that’s our philosophy in our own relationship. We’d LOVE to be together forever, and plan to be. But we make none of the empty promises that many people break every day. We live and love each other at this moment.
Daisy: Finding the love of your life in your late forties is amazing but also means knowing you’ll never have nearly enough time with them. I don’t take ANYTHING for granted. There’s no time for pettiness or stupid fights. I don’t know if what we have will last forever, but in my heart, I know that he is mine forever.
Richard (kisses Daisy): Ok, I know that sounds cheesy but it’s true.
Daisy is an animal rescuer, and the two of you have the most adorable four-legged ‘children’. Tell us about them and the joy they have brought to your life.
Daisy: I’m friendly with a woman who runs an animal rescue and I agreed to foster the Bronx because he was about to be killed that very day. He came to us very undisciplined and wild but with nothing but puppy energy and sweetness, despite being a huge 110-pound pitbull. We started training him thinking we were helping get him ready and more adoptable but as time went on two things happened: It became clear that he was not an easily adoptable dog due to his size and the rampant misinformation about his breed, and we had fallen in love with him. So, we adopted him and then a couple of months later, we agreed to foster Bette. The two of them got along so well and we adored her, too, so we adopted her as well. Richard and I are both major dog lovers and it does feel like we’re a family. We have a blast with them.
Do you go on tour together when Richard has a gig?
Daisy: I do when I can, which is pretty often. We genuinely love spending time together and we both love to travel. I think we both have a bit of a gypsy soul, and since we really hate spending time apart, we make the most of his touring. Whether it’s to the most luxurious exotic location or to a not-so luxurious little town in the middle of nowhere.
Richard: As I said, having Daisy on the road with me makes an incredibly fun job that much more awesome. I’ve never enjoyed touring more.
Daisy, does Richard sing for you?
Yes, he does. And I melt a little bit every time.
You have traveled together as a couple. Which destinations/places have stood out and why?
Daisy: So many great places. Singapore, the Maldives, Tahiti, Bora Bora, St. Barths. Cabo!! And Aspen, of course. Those are places we know we’ll be returning to. But we still have a great list of places we want to go together.
Richard: So many! I have a soft spot for Singapore and the Maldives for personal reasons between us. But I just love that we’ve been to so many parts of the world together in the mere five years we’ve known each other. Sri Lanka! Vietnam! Youngstown, Ohio!!! Haha. All great trips.
What do you do for fun as a couple?
Daisy: Everything and nothing.
Richard: We hike. We walk on the beach. We have fun romantic dinners all the time.
Daisy: We plan all kinds of fun things to do but we also love quiet dinners and time at home, just talking to each other. We do that a lot.
Any exciting future plans?
Richard: I’ve already done quite a few gigs this year with many more lined up. And later this year I’m releasing a new album and my first book, which is based on the life story of my hit songs.
Daisy: I work on my brand every day and after 15 years, it’s still growing. There are a couple of interesting TV projects we’re developing, but mostly I’m enjoying time with my husband as much as possible.