Richard Marx Recalls Kenny Rogers Giving Him His First Hit Song During Billboard Live At-Home Concert

Postponing his sold-out European tour didn't stop Richard Marx from pulling off a nostalgia-inducing Billboard Live At-Home concert on Thursday (March 26) to raise money for Meals on Wheels America, which is delivering food to U.S. senior citizens in this critical time.

He performed bits and pieces of his old favorites so he could fulfill as many fan requests in the 30-minute time frame. Sampling the many country, R&B and pop songs he co-wrote took the 56-year-old hitmaker back to the best parts of his illustrious career while he remembered his late collaborators.

Marx showed off his spirited chops for his favorite Luther Vandross song "Give Me the Reason," which he said he'd never tried playing before. He celebrated his feat by diving right into another Vandross hit, "Dance With My Father" -- which Marx not only wrote with Vandross, but also won the 2004 Grammy for song of the year.

Marx's multi-genre collaborations featured other late and great artists, too, like pop-country crossover legend Kenny Rogers, who died late Friday at age 81. One viewer requested Marx play Rogers' hit song "Crazy," which topped Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart 35 years ago on March 29, 1985.

"I wrote this song with Kenny when I was 19 years old back in 1983. He’s the first person to ever record one of my songs," Marx recalled while tuning his guitar. "I was singing background vocals on his album 'cause that's what I did back then. ... And I was doing this session with Kenny and I overheard him tell this producer that they were still one song short on this album. ... I remember him saying, 'I need that song that says what every woman wishes she heard and what every man wished he had said.'"

He continued telling the story of how he went home to write most of the song, brought it back to Rogers and performed it for him on the piano before Rogers "changed it around a little bit and he took it to No. 1 on the country charts."

Watch Marx's whole Billboard Live At-Home performance above, and donate to Meals on Wheels America here.