Tom Cruise Helped OneRepublic Score Their Latest Hit

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Much like Kenny Loggins’ “Playing With the Boys” did during the classic beach-volleyball scene in the original Top Gun, OneRepublic’s “I Ain’t Worried” offers viewers a much-needed relief from the life-and-death stakes of Top Gun: Maverick as the pilots get together for a seaside football game.

According to Billboard, Tom Cruise asked frontman Ryan Tedder to look at a rough cut of the dogfight football scene and asked “what do you hear?” Tedder could imagine quite the sonic blend as he responded, “I hear a little Beach Boys… Gorillaz… and this kind of whistle thing.”

Taking cues from those references as well as a few other acts like Foster the People, Tedder and his bandmate Brent Jutzel wrote the shuffling groove that appears halfway through the blockbuster sequel. It has since gone on to be the band’s biggest hit single in nearly a decade.

“The beauty of it was that I wasn’t trying to write some huge global record—it’s not following any pop math,” Tedder told the outlet. “It wasn’t written to sound obvious.” Cruise believed the song was a hit from the first listen. He reportedly told the singer “I think it’s a bulls-eye.”

The track began gaining traction on Tik Tok following the film’s May release. “I Ain’t Worried” has climbed to No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100, partially thanks to fans sharing their own edits of Miles Teller’s shirtless “Rooster wiggle” from the football scene. The tag “Rooster wiggle” has been viewed over 1.5 billion times on the app. Check out the song along with clips from the movie below.

(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

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