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Kenny Loggins attends the Global Premiere of "Top Gun: Maverick" on May 04, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

Kenny Loggins has been called the “King of the Movie Soundtrack” for his musical contributions on such films as A Star is Born (1976), Caddyshack, Footloose, Top Gun, Over the Top, Caddyshack II, and One Fine Day. But his work is far more diverse than that. In fact, it’s hard to classify Kenny Loggins in just one genre.

Loggins’ professional career began after he graduated from high school in 1966. His band, The Second Helping, released three folk-pop singles in ’68 and ’69. After that, he played guitar for a psychedelic band and wrote songs for the country-rock group The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. He started to taste real success in the 1970s as one-half of the pop duo Loggins and Messina.

In 1977, Kenny Loggins decided to continue his career as a solo artist, although not entirely on his own. Along the way, he created beloved hits with Stevie Nicks, Michael McDonald, and Steve Perry. Then there were the soundtracks and even a couple of children’s albums.

“This Is It” is one of a few collaborations between Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. The song won a Grammy Award in 1981 for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. NBC Sports used it as theme music for their coverage of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 1980 and 1981.

Kenny’s lone #1 hit was “Footloose,” the title track from the 1984 movie starring Kevin Bacon. The video is comprised almost entirely of clips from the film. In 2018, “Footloose” was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant.”

“Danger Zone,” from the Top Gun movie soundtrack, peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986. It’s hard to believe but Bryan Adams, REO Speedwagon, Toto, and Corey Hart were all offered the song before it fell into Kenny Loggins’ lap. Can you imagine anyone else performing it now? Thirty-six years later, the song is reaching a whole new audience with its inclusion in the 2022 sequel, Top Gun: Maverick.

  • This Is It (1979)

  • Footloose (1984)

  • Danger Zone (1986)