Richard Marx on Finding Love with Wife Daisy Fuentes After Divorce: 'I'm in Love in the Most Freeing Way' (2024)

Richard Marx is loving every second of life with his "Now and Forever" muse, wife Daisy Fuentes.

In this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, the '80s pop star details his love story with the '90s MTV video jockey, with whom he will celebrate six years of marriage this December.

"We're so in tune with each other," Marx, 57, gushes over a Zoom call from their L.A. home. "I'm in love in the most freeing way I've ever experienced. It's a beautiful thing."

Though he only got married to Fuentes, 54, in 2015, Marx first became aware of her back in the '90s, when he saw her on MTV.

At the time, Marx — who was raised in Chicago by his musician parents — was a certified superstar, thanks to the massive multiplatinum success of his first two albums, Richard Marx and Repeat Offender, which spawned his smash hit "Right Here Waiting." He was also a few years into marriage to Dirty Dancing actress Cynthia Rhodes, now 64, and a new dad to their first son, Brandon.

Richard Marx on His Divorce: 'It Has Been a Painful Time'

Still, Fuentes, who broke barriers as MTV's first Latina VJ, caught his eye.

"It wasn't just that she was so beautiful. It was her vibe," he says. "I remember thinking, 'I bet we would get along great.' I always had a fascination with her."

Though Marx and Fuentes ran in the same circles, it would be decades before they'd meet in person. After separating from Rhodes in 2013 after 24 years of marriage, Marx cast his own romantic fate when he invited Fuentes, via Instagram, to one of his shows in L.A.

They had an instant spark, but "it was a really tumultuous time," Marx says of his impending divorce. "When I met Daisy, I was flailing a bit. I very quickly saw things in her that made me feel like, 'That's my person.' But I was like, 'Do I want to be in another relationship already?' I had just become single for the first time in my life."

Richard Marx on Finding Love with Wife Daisy Fuentes After Divorce: 'I'm in Love in the Most Freeing Way' (1)

Fuentes, who had gone through her own divorce from actor Timothy Adams in 1995, had similar concerns, and six months into their romance, she ended the relationship.

"She went, 'I need to be able to trust this to not be a rebound,'" Marx recalls. "So we stopped seeing each other for a while, but I was completely hung up on her. I remember thinking, 'I can't let her go.'"

They soon began spending time together again, first as friends — and then as lovers.

"We learned about each other as friends, and it only deepened our relationship so that when we started seeing each other again, we knew much more about each other," he says. "We were intrigued by each other."

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Seeing Fuentes bond with his and Rhodes' three sons, Brandon, now 30, Lucas, 28, and Jesse, 27, made him fall for her more.

"It took a while for everyone to feel comfortable meeting and getting to know each other, but my boys could see how happy I was," he says. "Pretty early on, one of my sons blew my mind when he raised a glass while we were having dinner and said, 'I want to make a toast to Daisy, because I've never seen my father so happy.' That's a pretty heavy, powerful thing to do."

"We acknowledge that it could have been very different had they been still young or in their teens," he adds. "But still, it could have gone either way, and I'm so lucky that they seem to really like hanging out with us, which is pretty awesome."

Despite their intense connection, neither Marx nor Fuentes was interested in getting married again at first.

"We would knock [marriage]," he says. "We would go, 'Who needs another contract?'"

But after two years together Marx changed his tune.

"I really wanted her to be my family," he says. "We ended up getting married for the only reason that really makes sense, which is no reason. There was no agenda."

Almost six years later, Marx and Fuentes remain strong, and they were brought even closer over the past year amid the COVID-19 lockdown.

"As a couple, it was a pretty amazing time," Marx says. "But we didn't voice that to too many people because we knew the horrific nature of what was going on around us."

Richard Marx and Daisy Fuentes Tie the Knot in Aspen: See the Gorgeous Wedding Photos!

In the early months of the lockdown, Marx admits it was a bit of a "struggle" for him personally "because it was the first time in my entire life where I was forced to just sit still."

"I was so frightened of being still," says Marx, who had released his 12th studio album, Limitless, just weeks before the pandemic hit. "I had to figure out: Who am I offstage? Who am I when I'm not making records and frantically writing songs? It became a powerful year of self-reflection."

Marx shares the fruits of his introspection in a new memoir, Stories to Tell, out July 6.

"I've never really taken much time to look at what I've done," he says. "My instinct is to never look back. Daisy convinced me it was time to celebrate what I've achieved. I'm grateful that she helped me give myself permission to do that."

When fans read his new memoir, which covers the scope of his life and career, Marx jokes that he hopes they learn "that I'm taller than they think I am."

"I don't know about this perception that I'm this tiny little person," he says with a laugh. "But the real answer is I want people to come away with my sense of gratitude. I really want, if nothing else, for people to go, 'He's a grateful guy,' because I really am. I feel like if anyone should be grateful, it should be me."

In the coming months Marx — who says he could see himself singing "well into" his 90s — is looking forward to getting back out on the road with Fuentes by his side. But despite the pull of the spotlight, he says it's now the quiet times at home he savors most.

"I cling to the moments when I'm sitting next to Daisy and our dog, and I know my family is safe," he says. "Whether it's 10 minutes or two hours, it's a tremendous gift."

For all the details on Richard Marx's life and love story with Daisy Fuentes, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.

Richard Marx on Finding Love with Wife Daisy Fuentes After Divorce: 'I'm in Love in the Most Freeing Way' (2024)
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