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Pop Rewind: Richard Marx “Right Here Waiting”

While Richard Marx has remained active in the music scene as a performer, songwriter and producer since being discovered by Lionel Richie three decades ago, most people remember the gritty-voiced pop-rocker for his string of radio hits in the late 1980s—and among them, the song below is likely the one we remember most.

“Right Here Waiting,” a simple, piano-led ballad, was released in 1989 as the second single off of Marx’s sophomore album Repeat Offender. Marx wrote it as a love song to his wife, dancer/actress Cynthia Rhodes, while she was overseas on a film shoot. It shot to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for three weeks. Interestingly, the video below is actually the third version, the first two having been banned for being too sexual. (The first version allegedly included a sex scene with Rhodes.) My, how times have changed.

“Right Here Waiting” proved to be the fifth in Richard Marx’s record-breaking string of seven consecutive Top-5 charting hits, and the second of three Number-ones. Even after this run of hits subsided, Marx has continued to prove himself as a hitmaker in writing charting songs for a seemingly endless list of other artists, and even picked up a Grammy for “Song of the Year” in 2004 for his work on “Dance With My Father” recorded by Luther Vandross. Nevertheless, where his solo career is concerned, “Right Here Waiting” remains by far his best-remembered and best-selling single.

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About the Author


Tim Ferrar's interest in pop and rock started as a child, listening to Top-40 radio for hours on end while playing air guitar in his bedroom. Eventually air guitar led to electric guitar, and Tim began playing in bands and writing his own songs. With an admitted weakness for "a great hook or a great guitar riff," Tim's musical tastes are broad and varied, ranging from Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga on the pop side to Bon Jovi and Foo Fighters on the rock side- making him the ideal guy to cover our Rock and Pop categories. By day, Tim is a mild-mannered accountant in Chicago. By night, he rocks out on electric guitar in a cover band in various clubs around town- much to the surprise of some of his clients.

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