Richard Marx to Sing the National Anthem at Fontana

Richard Marx
For many NASCAR fans who also love and enjoy music, the singing of the National Anthem at a race is a mini-highlight in and of itself. The acts that are brought in to sing vary widely. Opinions of those singers/artists and their performances are even more numerous! This weekend in Fontana the man taking the microphone to sing the National Anthem is stirring some passionate responses. His name is Richard Marx.

Richard Marx made his mark in the music industry in the 1980s. Known for his distinctive, heartfelt ballads, his perfect-feathered hair, and heavy airplay in his heyday on MTV/VH1, Richard Marx may seem an odd choice for singing at a NASCAR race in 2011. Upon learning the news of his being the act to sing the national anthem in Fontana, I decided to take advantage of social media and flew over to Facebook. Immediately I found he had a fan page and it was well traversed and supported. I jotted down a quick note on the page, after “liking” it, of course, and left the comment. I simply stated I had heard he’d be the one singing the National Anthem in Fontana for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Race and I was pleased. I wished him well and thanked him for doing it. Within minutes my comment was “liked” by one of his fans. Within half an hour I had a private Facebook email requesting where I had learned about this! That person and I engaged in several emails that resulted in a cyber interview. I was intrigued by this woman’s fandom for a singing star I had not personally given much thought in the last 20 years. Here’s what this fan, Vasana, taught me about her favorite performer.

Vasana wrote to me, “I’ve been a fan [of Richard Marx] since I was 13. All the girls my age at the time were into New Kids On The Block and so on…but not me, I would constantly get teased about it even til this very day and I’m now 36.” Vasana recounts that it mattered not that she got/gets teased as she knows, “He’s such an amazing performer, person, and songwriter. His lyrics would put me to chills sometimes …” Vasana finds Richard Marx’ songwriting “powerful” and his talents multi-faceted.

Vasana is a dedicated fan who has seen Richard Marx in concert myriad times, most recently a couple of weeks ago. She and a friend were lucky enough to have an audience with Richard Marx when all were on their way to their cars.

“He was so nice and kind enough to spare me his time and signed ALL 16 of my CD covers! I almost died and gone to Heaven!” Vasana was thrilled when I answered her question about whether the race from Fontana would be televised. She is not a NASCAR fan, but will be tuning in to see her favorite musical act sing the National Anthem. “It will be my first time hearing him sing the National Anthem and I’m so excited! I will definitely tune in and watch Richard Marx sing the National Anthem on Sunday before the NASCAR race in Fontana, CA!! I would not miss it in the world! He will rock it!”

For those of you wondering why Richard Marx to sing the National Anthem, I say why not? Clearly he has a loyal fan base that is not unlike NASCAR fans. Loyal, passionate, long-term, and excited people who follow Richard Marx not unlike rabid NASCAR fans that feel the same about their driver. And, to Richard Marx’ credit, he is akin to many drivers I’ve heard who stay at the track until the last autograph is signed; Richard Marx seems to value his fans in quite the same way.

I always thought Richard Marx was entertaining and had good music. I’m curious to check his work out again and to see how he performs the National Anthem at the race in Fontana on Sunday. He may be great for NASCAR bringing in new viewers who could possibly stay after his performance is over. To Vasana and any other Richard Marx fans who will be tuning in to the race coverage, I say, “Welcome to NASCAR! We’re glad you’re here.”

Richard Marx to Sing the National Anthem at Fontana Richard Marx to Sing the National Anthem at Fontana Reviewed by Chief 187 on Friday, March 25, 2011 Rating: 5