Before becoming one of the most successful singer-songwriters of the 1990s and beyond, the famously mullet-sporting Richard Marx was a backing vocalist for Lionel Richie and Madonna, among others, as well as the author of 1980-era hits for Kenny Rogers and Chicago. His talent for radio-friendly romantic ballads and upbeat pop tunes paved the way for his own solo career, which launched in spectacular fashion with four Top 5 singles from his self-titled 1988 debut record, including the chart-topping "Hold On to the Night." He would score two more No. 1 songs before changing musical tastes capsized his brand of pop-rock. Marx then returned to songwriting, where he found equal, if not greater success by penning such hits as "This I Promise You" for 'N Sync, "Dance with My Father" for Luther Vandross, and Keith Urban's "Long Hot Summer." Though critics frequently decried Marx's work as both a singer and songwriter as pabulum, he was also the only solo artist to send his first seven singles into the Top 5 on the Billboard singles chart, as well as a songwriter with No. 1 songs in four consecutive decades - a pair of accolades that few, if any, more respected musicians could claim as their own.