Now and For­ever!

Upscale Living Magazine - - Feature - | By Heléne Ra­mack­ers

Now and For­ever!

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 1980’s with your hits ‘Right Here Wait­ing’, ‘Too late to say good­bye’, ‘Hold on to the nights’, ‘Don’t’ mean noth­ing’, ‘Now and For­ever’ to name but a few. I still have some of your records, yes records! And CD’s. 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 1990’s 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 is 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 mu­si­cal 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 on stage 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.

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 is 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 was no so­cial me­dia. We were pro­vid­ing the only real in­side and be­hind the scenes look at that world. It was ground-break­ing 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 as 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 healthy, 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. Su­per foods. 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 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 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 was 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 which 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 in 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 my 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 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 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 trav­elled 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.

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