He may be known as a clean-loving, romantic goody-two-shoes, but Richard Marx says if he had started dabbling in drugs, his greatest fear is he would love it too much.
Such is his personality that once he starts exploring something, he would go all the way, said the singer-songwriter of global smash hits such as "Right Here Waiting", "Hazard" and "Angelia".
During an interview with Yahoo! Singapore at St James' Power Station on Monday, the 49-year-old said, "I was never interested in doing drugs, not for any holier-than-thou, being above it (reason in particular), but frankly I always had a great fear that I would love drugs."
"I know my personality and my personality is such that I don't do things just a little bit. I don't just sort of dabble in things that I'm interested in; I want to know all about it, I want to do it all the time, and I want to really experience it, so I knew even at a young age that drugs were not a good idea," added Marx, who has steered clear of scandal throughout his 30-year career in the limelight.
"I didn't want to risk it, because I knew I would like it, and I knew that nothing good could come from it... I've never smoked a joint. I've done no drugs ever. And I never had any kind of alcohol issues -- I love wine, but I don't drink every day... I don't have any issues with that stuff," said Marx, who has been happily married to actress Cynthia Rhodes for 23 years.
Having started out his career doing back-up vocals for singers like Lionel Richie (who gave him his first break), Madonna and Whitney Houston, Marx has seen first-hand how wayward celebs and singers spiralled out of control due to their addictions.
Asked where he was and what ran through his mind when Houston passed away in February this year, Marx said he was shaken, but not altogether shocked to hear the news from his soundman while on tour in Las Vegas.
"It was that sort of initial, like, with Michael Jackson (news of his passing) you go 'Oh!' (in shock), and then the next thought is it's not that big a shock, if you think about it," he said. "We knew she (Houston) was really really troubled, and we knew Michael Jackson was really, really troubled."
What he felt most concerned about, though, were the children both Jackson and Houston left behind in their passing.
"My first thought was always actually the children... clearly, Whitney and Michael both lived pretty selfish lives -- if you have kids, you have a responsibility to be there for your kids," he said.
"I can't relate to what they were going through, but I do believe that no matter what pain you're going through, if you have children, you have to put your pain to the side and you have to be responsible for your kids. So if anything, I feel sad for them, but I don't feel as sad for them as if they were just hopeless."
He pointed out that there are ways for celebrities to help themselves out of drug addictions or other problems, such as programmes or rehabilitation groups.
"There are ways you can help yourself. A lot of those people -- their idea of going to rehab is going to some country club for a couple of days," he added.
Turning back to his own career, though, Marx explained that his strong family and a small number of close friends were ultimately what helped him to stay grounded, and that his main challenge in travelling so much for work is in balancing his time between his music career and his family.
"I love what I do so much, but I love being with my family and I really enjoyed raising my kids, and so the only battle is that sometimes my work would take me away from my family, but I would bring my kids (he has three sons) on the road, and we find a way to make it work."
After touring here last year, Marx was in Singapore once again to perform at the President's Star Charity on Sunday evening. He is performing another small showcase on Monday evening at St James Power Station.
Watch our video below to find out why this is his almost his 10th time in Singapore, and for snippets of his private showcase on Monday evening: