Remember When Starship Scored Its Third and Last No. 1 Hit with “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”

On April 4, 1987, Starship scored its third and final chart-topping single on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”

Videos by American Songwriter

The song had been featured as the theme of the romantic comedy Mannequin, which starred Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall. “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” was co-written by two prolific hit-making songwriters—Diane Warren and Albert Hammond. The upbeat power ballad featured Starship’s two lead singers, Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas, duetting together.

[RELATED: Jefferson Airplane Was Relaunched as Jefferson Starship 50 Years Ago]

“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100. It also topped the U.K. singles chart for four weeks in May and June of ’87.

“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” also received an Oscar nomination for the Best Original Song honor. However, it lost to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing.

According to Songfacts, guitarist Craig Chaquico was the only other Starship member besides Slick and Thomas to contribute to the track. The song was produced by Narada Michael Walden, who also had produced and co-write Aretha Franklin’s “Freeway of Love” and Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know.”

Starship’s History

Starship had started its existence as Jefferson Starship, the group formed by Slick and her Jefferson Airplane bandmate Paul Kantner after their old group broke up in the early 1970s. Kantner left Jefferson Starship in 1984 because he was unhappy with the band’s increasingly pop-influenced sound. After Kantner’s departure, the group continued under the moniker Starship.

Prior to “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” Starship had scored two other No. 1 hits on the Hot 100—“We Built This City” in 1985 and “Sara” in 1986.

“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” appeared on Starship’s second album, No Protection. The record peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard 200. The album also included another hit single, “It’s Not Over (’Til It’s Over),” which reached No. 9 on the Hot 100.

No Protection was the last Starship album to feature Slick, who left the band in 1988. In 1989, Slick got back together with her old band the Jefferson Airplane for a reunion album and tour, then quit the music business.

The Writing of “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”

Hammond had come up with the idea for the song, which was inspired by his own romance. As he explained in a 1992 BBC interview, Hammond had planned to write a tune for his own wedding to his longtime girlfriend. The couple’s plans to marry had been delayed because Hammond had been embroiled in a lengthy divorce with an ex-wife that finally had gotten settled.

When he and Warren were asked to write a tune for Mannequin, Hammond decided to use the idea he’d begun working on for his wedding song.

As he recalled in the interview, “[W]hat I said to Diane was, ‘it’s almost like they’ve stopped me from marrying this woman for seven years, and they haven’t succeeded. They’re not gonna stop me doing it.’ That’s when suddenly ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ came up.”

More About Warren and Hammond

“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” became the first of many No. 1 hits Warren either wrote or co-wrote. Hammond had scored his own Top-Five pop hit back in 1972 with “It Never Rains in Southern California.” He also co-wrote such other well-known songs as “The Air That I Breathe” (The Hollies), “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” (Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson), and “When I Need You” (Leo Sayer).

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