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Kenny Loggins

Kenny Loggins

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Singer/songwriter Kenny Loggins had two largely different careers, solo and duo. As a '70s member of Loggins & Messina, he embodied the laid-back, hippie-esque country-rock movement. Going solo in the '80s with a different look and a decidedly slicker sound, he became identified with the upscale pop affectionately remembered as "Yacht Rock." A Washington state native, Loggins was briefly a member of the psychedelic band the Electric Prunes, but was never on an album with them. His first real claim to fame was writing the nostalgic "House at Pooh Corner," which became a minor hit for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1970. Signed to Columbia the next year as a solo artist, he was paired with producer Jim Messina, the ex-Poco and Buffalo Springfield member, who wound up sharing the vocals and songwriting. Initially planned as a Kenny Loggins album with Jim Messina sitting in, it became Sittin' In by Loggins and Messina, now an official duo. Over the next five years they'd be known for some cheerful hit singles ("Your Mama Don't Dance," "Danny's Song") and for the easygoing good vibes they radiated. They bowed out in 1976 with a greatest-hits album, characteristically called The Best of Friends. Though...

Singer/songwriter Kenny Loggins had two largely different careers, solo and duo. As a '70s member of Loggins & Messina, he embodied the laid-back, hippie-esque country-rock movement. Going solo in the '80s with a different look and a decidedly slicker sound, he became identified with the upscale pop affectionately remembered as "Yacht Rock." A Washington state native, Loggins was briefly a member of the psychedelic band the Electric Prunes, but was never on an album with them. His first real claim to fame was writing the nostalgic "House at Pooh Corner," which became a minor hit for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1970. Signed to Columbia the next year as a solo artist, he was paired with producer Jim Messina, the ex-Poco and Buffalo Springfield member, who wound up sharing the vocals and songwriting. Initially planned as a Kenny Loggins album with Jim Messina sitting in, it became Sittin' In by Loggins and Messina, now an official duo. Over the next five years they'd be known for some cheerful hit singles ("Your Mama Don't Dance," "Danny's Song") and for the easygoing good vibes they radiated. They bowed out in 1976 with a greatest-hits album, characteristically called The Best of Friends. Though Messina was by far the bigger name when L&M were formed, it was Loggins who had the solo success afterward. Now with a more fashionable haircut and a new musical direction-less country, more pop-he became a fixture on the charts and on movie soundtracks. Between 1976-78 he scored a trifecta, landing the song "I Believe in Love" in Barbra Streisand's hit movie "A Star is Born" (1976) (for which he nearly grabbed the Kris Kristofferson role), co-writing (with Michael McDonald) the Doobie Brothers smash "What a Fool Believes," and scoring a chart-topper of his own with his Stevie Nicks duet, "Whenever I Call You Friend." In 1979 he teamed with McDonald to write another biggie, "This is It," this time cutting the hit version himself. Written to bolster his ailing father's spirits, the song became a late-'70s sports anthem and won him a Grammy for Best Pop Male Vocal Performance. Further soundtrack hits came with the themes to "Caddyshack" (1980) and "Footloose" (1984), as well as the "Top Gun" (1986) hit "Danger Zone." In 1985 Loggins was part of the all-star chorus on "We Are the World" and also helped perform it at Live Aid. Though his profile lessened in the '90s he continued to score hits, including "For the First Time" (another movie song, from 1997's "One Fine Day.") He branched out to children's albums and reunited with Messina for a tour dubbed "Sittin' In Again" in 2005 and again in 2009. Later he turned up in some surprising places, guesting on the animated series "Archer" (FX 2009- ) and writing the theme song for Funny or Die's parody "Donald Trump's Art of the Deal: The Movie" (2016). A further left-field hit came in 2017 when he and McDonald both guested on Thundercat's "Show You the Way."

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