Tom Whitlock, Co-Writer of ‘Top Gun’ Hits ‘Danger Zone’ and ‘Take My Breath Away,’ Dies at 68

The Oscar-winning songwriter and Springfield, Mo. native died in Gallatin, TN 

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Academy Award-winning songwriter Tom Whitlock has died at the age of 68. 

According to the Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home, Whitlock died on Feb. 18 in Gallatin, Tennessee. No details about his cause of death were shared. 

Born on Feb. 20, 1954, Whitlock was raised in Springfield, Missouri, where he was influenced to pick up the musical art of drums. By the time he was in college, he lived a double life working as a student by day and a rocker at night. Over the course of several years, Whitlock built his solar career as a songwriter, getting featured in movies, including “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Ten Things I Hate About You” and “Top Gun.”

In 1996, his “Top Gun” track “Take My Breath Away” earned him an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. The song was one of four songs he penned for the film. “Take My Breath Away” went on to become a chart-topper for Berlin in the U.S., the U.K. and other countries. He also wrote “Danger Zone,” performed by Kenny Loggins, which went to No. 2 in the U.S. charts. The LP spend five weeks on the Billboard 200 list. “Danger Zone” was also featured in the latest “Top Gun” sequel “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Even though he completed most of his credits for his college degree at Drury University, his successful career — which includes more than 100 songwriting credits — stood in the way of him graduating.

Whitlock is survived by his ex-wife, Hollie Whitlock; his sister, Mary Whitlock Schweitzer and his daughter, Yohanna Sherman.