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Was Kenny Loggins the First Choice to Record Top Gun’s “Danger Zone” Soundtrack?

Becoming a widely-used movie song during the mid-1980s, the closing credits song Danger Zone, sung by Kenny Loggins, rose to fame as Top Gun became a box office hit. Despite Kenny Loggins’ excellence in singing, he was never initially a choice for the songwriters when they debated the performer of the iconic piece. 

It seemed that Kenny Loggins was neither the first, second, nor third choice to perform Danger Zone in the Top Gun movie. Many famous artists were asked before the songwriters eventually requested Loggins to record the track. 

The Excellency of Kenny Loggins

Born in the late 1940s in Everett, Washington, Kenny Loggins and the rest of his family eventually moved to Alhambra, California, during his teenage years. Loggins first discovered his love for music when he used it to compensate for his coy personality. From then on, Loggins realized that both his voice and his excellent skill in guitar were natural talents that came to him. (Source: All Music

A significant moment for Loggins when he realized his strength in music was when he was only seven years of age. He recalled looking at his two brothers who experienced hardships in songwriting. A year later, Loggins realized his passion for songwriting with the film Yankee Doodle Dandy.

And I remember thinking, it just can’t be that hard. It’s a moment that sticks with you, and I knew deep inside that this is something I could do.

Kenny Loggins

Loggins started to pursue a career in music during his high school education when he attained the opportunity to work as an ABC/Wingate songwriter, getting paid 100 dollars per week. Three years in his job at ABC/Wingate, he met Jim Mesina, consequentially leading to the Loggins and Mesina duo.

After seven long years, Loggins decided to continue as a solo artist. He flourished, even gaining the title of King of the Movie Soundtrack during the 1980s and an ASCAP Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award in 2016. His devotion to music led to eleven platinum albums, Grammy Awards, and numerous Billboard hit charts. (Source: Kenny Loggins)

The Story Behind the Danger Zone

The release of the box office hit movie Top Gun in 1986 welcomed many new opportunities for the film’s lead actor, Tom Cruise, as he skyrocketed to fame.

It was not just Tom Cruise that gained prominence as Kenny Loggins also gained much recognition. In the finishing credits of Top Gun, Loggins performed Danger Zone, which eventually became a staple track in movies during the mid-1980s.

Initially, Georgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock, the writers of Danger Zone, faced many difficulties as they sought an A-list artist to perform the song. Whitlock explained that they desired the singer to be signed to their record company label. Many esteemed artists, including Bryan Adams, Corey Hart, and REO Speedwagon, were requested to sing the track, but none agreed. With no artist to play Danger Zone, they finally asked Loggins.

I was in the studio, and I had written a track for the movie called Playing With the Boys. There was definitely some other act or bands ahead of me, and it fell out. I just happened to be in the studio, and they needed a singer right away. I dropped what I was doing and went in.

Kenny Loggins

After a conversation with the songwriters and a successful recording session, the release of Danger Zone in Top Gun became an enormous commercial hit. (Source: Ultimate Classic Rock)

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