Richard Marx boasts nearly three decades of success in the music business, but the “Right Here Waiting” singer has another (some would say, even more impressive) success under his belt – his over-20-year marriage to “Flashdance” and “Dirty Dancing” star Cynthia Rhodes.
“I totally married up. I totally married out of my league,” Richard told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Thursday’s Access Hollywood Live of his successful relationship with Cynthia.
As the sizzling Penny Johnson in 1987’s “Dirty Dancing,” Cynthia’s career was on the fast track when she married Richard in 1989. Fresh off the success of the Patrick Swayze-led film, the stunning blonde bowed out of the entertainment world to focus on being a mom.
“She retired to raise your three sons. Does she ever regret any part of that?” Kit asked.
“Never,” Richard replied. “It’s remarkable because her career was on fire. When she got pregnant with our oldest son Brandon, who’s now 21, she said, ‘You know, I know women do it every day, [they] successfully juggle career and [family]. I just want to be the best mom I can possibly be.’
“And she has been. It’s remarkable,” he added with a smile.
Having penned 14 No. 1 songs (including hits for Josh Groban and Keith Urban) and sold over 30 million albums, Richard’s musical achievements are astounding. With 30 years in the business, the “Hazard” singer admitted he finds reality singing shows like “American Idol,” “The Voice” and “Duets” a bit disturbing.
“I hear you’re not a fan of the singing competitions?” Kit asked.
“You mean ‘karaoke TV’? No,” he said with a laugh. “I mean, I’m grateful for people like Carrie Underwood, who’s an amazing singer, who we know because of [‘Idol’], but…
“I come from a place where, as a musical artist, there’s a process — you have to pay your dues, you have to learn your craft,” he explained. “And it’s sort of like a person on a bicycle with training wheels being handed keys to a Maserati. They’re not ready.”
Richard’s latest album, “A Night Out With Friends,” features live collaborations with artists including former *NSYNC-er JC Chasez and Hugh Jackman, who Richard joked was allowed to perform as a favor.
“Yeah, I was just trying to help Hugh Jackman’s sagging career,” he said, laughing. “Yeah, we have been friends for about eight or nine years. He is just remarkably normal. He’s just a good guy – really good guy, super talented, he came and did a couple songs with me at the show and it was really fun. I’m really proud of this show.”
“A Night Out With Friends” hits stores on Tuesday, June 19.
-- Erin O’Sullivan