Tom Whitlockwho won the Oscar for best song for co-writing the No. 1 hit “Take My Breath Away” by Upper gun and also wrote the film’s other single “Danger Zone”, has passed away. He was 68 years old.

The Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home confirmed he died Feb. 18 in Gallatin, TN. No cause was given.

Born February 20, 1954, in Springfield, MO, Whitlock was a lifelong songwriter and performer with little success when he had a chance encounter with Giorgio Moroder at a Los Angeles recording studio. Whitlock told the story of the Italian composer complaining about his Ferrari’s brakes, leading the opportunistic lyricist to scoop up brake fluid and carry out the repairs.

Tom Cruise in “Top Gun”, 1986 (Everett Collection)

Moroder — who had already Oscars on his fireplace for Original Score (midnight express) and Best Song (“Flashdance”) and had produced No. 1 hits for Donna Summer – recruited hungry Whitlock to write lyrics for four Upper gun Songs. Among them were the ballad “Take My Breath Away”, which became the top of the charts for Berlin in the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries, and the rocker “Danger Zone”, which Kenny Loggins has rocketed to No. 2 in the United States. Both the Tom Cruise film and its soundtrack were smash hits, with the LP spending five weeks atop the Billboard 200. The record sold over 9 million copies in the United States alone. “Danger Zone” is also featured in last year’s juggernaut sequel Top Gun: Maverick.

Tim Whitlock, left, and Giorgio Moroder with their Oscars for Best Original Song for “Take My Breath Away” (Getty Images)

Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The duo also co-wrote the Upper gun songs “Lead Me On” and “Through the Fire”.

Whitlock and Moroder would go on together on about two dozen more movie soundtracks, including Beverly Hills Cop II, Rambo III, Over the tears And Let it ride, and co-wrote the theme songs for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul (“Hand in Hand”) and the 1990 FIFA World Cup (“To Be Number One”).

Whitlock has also contributed songs to several other films and has amassed over 100 songwriting credits over his career, including tunes by Ray Charles, Bonnie Tyler and Graham Nash.

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