Across his 30-year career as a performer, songwriter and producer, Richard Marx has enjoyed countless highlights. The Chicago native has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, but ask him and he’ll tell you his most satisfying moments as an artist come from taking the stage and connecting with an audience.
“The best compliments I get, either after a show or the next day, are when people say, ‘I feel like we hung out for a couple of hours, it was like we were sitting there and having drinks,’” Marx said in a phone interview this week. “That’s what I strive to be as a performer. We have a blast — it’s like a party. There’s nothing better than that.”
Marx, 55, will perform a solo acoustic evening on Sunday at Tupelo Music Hall in Derry.
From 1987-95, Marx hit the Top 20 with 14 songs, including three straight No. 1 hits — “Hold On to the Nights,” “Right Here Waiting” and “Satisfied” – and had three other songs, including “Now and Forever,” top the Adult Contemporary chart.
He is the only male artist ever to have his first seven singles reach the Top 5 on the Billboard Charts.
His 1987 self-titled debut album went triple-platinum with the hits “Don’t Mean Nothing,” “Should’ve Known Better,” “Endless Summer Nights” and “Hold On to the Nights.”
His 1989 album “Repeat Offender” did even better, topping the charts and selling quadruple platinum with the hits “Satisfied,” “Right Here Waiting” and “Children of the Night.”
Marx also co-wrote country star Keith Urban’s No. 1 hit “Be Here” and Luther Vandross’ double-Grammy Award-winning “Dance With My Father,” and the Top 5 hit “This I Promise You” with boy band ‘N Sync.
Marx said he looks forward to coming back to New Hampshire. He said he played a show at the former site of Tupelo Music Hall on Young Road in Londonderry “five or six years ago” with his good friend Matt Scannell, lead vocalist of the rock band Vertical Horizon.
“It was such a great show. Matt and I would trade off,” Marx said. “I would play a song, and he would sit in; then he would perform a Vertical Horizon song. That place reminded me of an old house; it had such great character. I love audiences that come out to shows in places like that. They respect the music; they’re not talking during the songs.”
Marx’s show this weekend will be his first appearance at Tupelo’s new location at 10 A St. in Derry.
Marx hasn’t released an album since 2014’s “Beautiful Goodbye,” but said he plans to release “a whole bunch” of new material over the next 18 months, with the first new song set to debut at the end of April.
“There’s everything from guitar rock songs to modern country songs and straight ahead pop,” Marx said.
He is under no illusion that people come out to see him to hear new material, but says that’s OK. He’s proud of his body of work over the years, and happy to give fans what they want — the hits.
“It’s a celebration of those songs,” Marx said. “I get it when people say, ‘You took me back to my high school days.’ I get all that, and I enjoy it. I take the music seriously but not myself — I’m having fun.”
Marx has embraced some social media platforms like Twitter as a way to easily connect with fans. His tweets range from polls on topics like “Toilet paper roll: Under or over?” to political commentary, usually aimed at President Donald Trump.
When Trump took to Twitter in July to clarify one of his statements to Russia, Marx tweeted, “I misspoke. I meant to say I ‘wouldn’t’ be right here waiting for you,” referencing his No. 1 hit that turns 30 this year.
That tweet was liked 260,000 times.
“I didn’t expect that,” Marx said.
Marx said he understands why other artists keep their tweets about them and their brand and what their new album or movie is.
Marx said one key to his longevity in the music business is the fact he is doing something he loves.
“I never make a song thinking about an audience,” Marx said. “I write and create for myself, creating something that makes me happy, and you find out other people like it too. I’m still mystified by the songwriting process and get excited each time I write a new one.”
Marx said his shows are very interactive.
“I love to talk to the audience and hang out with them, and I want them to go home feeling like we’ve hung out,” Marx said. “Even if you’re not a fan of mine, you’re going to hear songs you know. I still love what I am doing. It’s a chance for me to show off how much I love these songs I’ve written over the years. I’m playing in front of people who want to hear my music — I’m very grateful for that.”
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“A Solo Acoustic Evening with Richard Marx” will take place at 7 p.m. Sunday at Tupelo Music Hall, 10 A St., Derry. Tickets are $45-$55. For information, visit www.tupelomusichall.com.