Kenny Loggins Speaks Out About ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Success, ‘Danger Zone’ Inspiration

by Joe Rutland

If you have seen Top Gun: Maverick, then you know one of the movie’s most beloved songs is from Kenny Loggins. While he has been a pop and rock singer for some time, his hits have included songs for movies like Footloose and Top Gun. Hearing Danger Zone pop up again in the sequel brings smiles to the franchise’s fans. It’s a callback to the first film as the song was a highlight there. What, though, is some insight into the inspiration of the song itself? Loggins offers up some thoughts about it.

“When I initially heard the song, I did have some reservations about it and I sat with Tom [Whitlock], the co-writer with Giorgio [Moroder], and I added some chord substitutions and changes in the bridge because to me it was the same thing over and over and over again,” Kenny Loggins told PopCulture in a reference to his first impression of the now-hit song.

Kenny Loggins Said Tina Turner Style Played Role In His Performance

“I wanted to just mix it up, make it a little more interesting, and so I messed with it and then I really liked it,” he said. “And it gave me an opportunity to use a voice that I hadn’t used. That my own material had been softer. And the most rocking thing I’d done was Footloose. That’s when I started to really enjoy that part of what I was using.”

Where, though, would he find some influence to pick up the beat a little bit on his own songs? None other than one of the music world’s most prolific singers and performers, the ionic Tina Turner. Loggins goes a little bit deeper about this part and what was going on in his own musical world at the time. “During the period when I got a call from Giorgio and then I went into a studio, I was deep into the Tina Turner’s Private Dancer album,” Loggins said. “So I, sort of, imitated her where I was putting my voice and enunciation of the things. And that kind of thing was very much her R&B interpretation of her version of rock and roll.”

Kenny Loggins added, “So I just took that and took it another place, being a skinny white guy.” Here’s another thought. Could this hit song from Kenny Loggins actually have played a role in keeping the Top Gun franchise alive and well? If that’s the case, then the singer-songwriter is quick with a quip. He told PopCulture, “Well, I think you’re right and I think they owe me more money.” Kenny Loggins recently put out a memoir titled Still Alright, which is a throwback to his hit song from the comedy movie Caddyshack.