Kenny Loggins Revealed the Secret Influence Behind “Danger Zone”

"Top Gun: Maverick" has him back in the spotlight

Kenny Loggins
Kenny Loggins in 1974.
Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

It’s fair to say that Kenny Loggins is having a moment right now. With Top Gun: Maverick earning both critical and commercial success, it’s put his song “Danger Zone” in the spotlight. As Variety recently reported, the song is currently climbing digital charts — one of two instances of a mid-1980s hit getting an unexpected second life in 2022.

Over the years, Loggins developed a reputation for having songs on the soundtracks of some of the 80s’ biggest films. (If you ever watched the online comedy series Yacht Rock — which is highly recommended — this was the subject of a recurring joke there, and it was never not funny.) But what does Loggins himself think of his soundtrack work — and what informed the songs that soundtracked a generation at the movies?

In a recent interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, Loggins held forth on several subjects, with perhaps the most interesting element being who he cited as an influence on his vocals for “Danger Zone.”

“I was very into Tina Turner at the time and the way she pronounced things. Her gospel and R&B history, combining with her love of Rod Stewart and the modern rock and roll at the time created a level of intense R&B rock and roll,” Loggins recalled. “I mean, name three other acts that do it anywhere near as intensely as she did it. That’s what I was trying to bring to ‘Danger Zone.’”

In particular, he noted that the sang the title phrase in “a total Tina accent.” It’s definitely something worth listening for the next time you’re heading for the danger zone.

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