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Kenny Loggins' remarkable four-decade-plus career has brought him from the top of the charts to the toast of the Grammys. He's had smash hits on Hollywood's favorite soundtracks, rocked worldwide stages, and found his way into children's hearts while bringing his smooth, beautiful voice to platinum albums of a stunning variety of genres. His gift for crafting deeply emotional music is unparalleled, and it's been a part of his life as long as he can remember.
Kenny Loggins With Jim Messina Sittin' In, came out in 1971, featuring Loggins' own version of "Pooh Corner" and the beautiful ballad "Danny's Song," which he'd written when his brother's wife gave birth to the couple's first child. "That was the beginning of his family," Loggins remembers, "and many of those lyrics were taken right from a letter he wrote me." The prolific recording and touring duo released a studio album every year from 1971 to 1976, wrapping with Native Sons. The time had come for Loggins to cast off on his own.
"When I recorded Celebrate Me Home, I was very excited, I was like an arrow pulled back in a bow," Loggins says. His 1977 Phil Ramone-produced solo debut went platinum and included "I Believe in Love," the song he'd written for Barbra Streisand to perform in the film A Star Is Born. The album came out just in time for Loggins to score a gig opening for Fleetwood Mac on the Rumours tour, and he went from playing large rooms to arenas overnight. He struck up a friendship with Stevie Nicks, who generously offered to sing one of his songs. Loggins found the right tune — "Whenever I Call You Friend" from his 1978 LP Nightwatch — which he credits as "the moment that launched my solo career."
The hits just kept on coming. Loggins pulled up for a songwriting session at Michael McDonald's house and heard the opening melody of "What a Fool Believes" coming out of the door. "He stopped playing but my imagination kept going. So I like to say we were writing before we met." The pair won a Best Song Grammy — Loggins' first — for the tune in 1979. The following year, the pair picked up a second Grammy for "This Is It," off Loggins' third consecutive platinum solo album, Keep the Fire. As the decade progressed, Loggins kept expanding his musical range, impressively exploring new textures of jazz, rock, and pop with ambitious production.
In the 1980s, Loggins also earned a new title: king of the movie soundtrack. Film producer Jon Peters called him in to see a rough cut of Caddyshack, and Loggins provided the cult classic's smash "I'm Alright." When a pal asked Loggins to write a few songs for an as-yet-unmade picture called Footloose, he whipped up a No. 1 blockbuster: "I had a little up-tempo thing I'd been messing with that I probably wouldn't have written if it hadn't have been for the movie," Loggins says. He scored a track on Tom Cruise's Top Gun ("Playing With the Boys") and performed that movie's indelible hit "Danger Zone."
Since 2010, Loggins has also been onstage with a country trio, Blue Sky Riders, which features Nashville powerhouse Gary Burr and gifted vocalist and singer/songwriter Georgia Middleman. "I figured the most logical place to write a heartbreak album was Nashville, so I took my journals there," Loggins says. "When Gary and I sang together, we sounded like brothers. The last time I experienced that kind of blend was with Jimmy Messina in 1971." They had such a great time writing and recording, Loggins proposed they start a band. "Then we laughed about it and went about our way." But after a few months Loggins called him back and suggested they find a female voice to form a trio.
The group released its debut album, Finally Home, on its own record label, 3Dream Records, in January 2013 and is currently working on their second album, Why Not.
Though he's got 12 platinum albums, a pair of Grammys, and hits on almost all the Billboard charts under his belt, Loggins is far from done. In 2016, he released his latest children’s project, the book Footloose (Moondance Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group USA, October 17, 2016), inspired by his 1985 Oscar® nominated and Grammy® Award-winning “Song of the Year.” Last summer, he was a recipient of the ASCAP Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award at the annual Chapin Awards hosted by WhyHunger. "I feel very lucky that this is the way I make my living, and not a lot of people can say that," Loggins says. "I've been lucky that I love what I do and I get to keep doing it."