Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell singer dead at 74 | Meatloaf
American singer and actor Meat Loaf has died aged 74, his agent has confirmed. No cause of death has been shared.
Born Marvin Lee Aday and later legally known as Michael, the musician died on January 20 with his wife Deborah Gillespie by his side.
“We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all the love and support we are going through this time of grief at losing such an inspiring artist and a beautiful man,” Meat’s family said. Loaf in a statement. “From his heart to your souls… never stop swinging!”
Written and composed by Jim Steinman, Meat Loaf’s 1977 debut album, Bat Out of Hell, is one of the best-selling albums in history. Steinman and Meat Loaf’s 1993 album Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell produced the worldwide hit single I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That). It was her only UK No. 1 single, spending seven weeks at the top. He completed the Bat Out of Hell trilogy with The Monster Is Loose in 2006. The three albums have sold over 65 million copies worldwide.
Meat Loaf also had a breakout role in the 1975 film version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show playing Eddie, a wild and hapless delivery boy who sings the song Hot Patootie. He has also starred in over 50 movies and TV shows, including Fight Club, Wayne’s World and Spiceworld the Movie. In 2021, he signed a deal to develop a relationship competition series titled I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do This).
Stephen Fry remembers performing a sketch with him on the British show Saturday Live in the 1980s. he tweeted. Of their appearance together, he wrote, “He had the quality of being both creepy and cuddly, which is rare and quite wonderful.
Aday was born in Dallas, Texas on September 27, 1947. He was an only child, his mother a teacher and gospel singer, and his father a former police officer who developed alcoholism after being medically discharged from the military. American during World War II.
Aday performed in high school productions, studied at Lubbock Christian College and later at North Texas State University. After his mother’s death, he moved to Los Angeles and formed his first band, Meat Loaf Soul, taking the name from a cruel nickname given to him by a football coach.
He turned down three early offers of recording contracts and the band plied their trade live, supporting artists such as Them, Van Morrison’s band, Taj Mahal, Janis Joplin, the Who, the Fugs, the Stooges and the Gratefully Dead. As band members came and went, the band changed names with each new lineup, among them Popcorn Blizzard and Floating Circus.
Success on the west coast led to the release of a single, Once Upon a Time. Meat Loaf, however, complained about not being taken seriously in the music industry and joined a Los Angeles production of the musical Hair.
Her role led to an invitation to record for Motown as a duet with Shaun “Stoney” Murphy. An album, Stoney & Meatloaf (misspelled) was released in September 1971. They had some chart success but Meat Loaf left the group when Motown replaced his and Murphy’s vocals on the song Who Is the Leader of the People? with those of Edwin Starr.
He found success on stage again, starring in an off-Broadway production of Rainbow and a Broadway production of Hair. Auditioning for a production of More Than You Deserve, he met his future collaborator Jim Steinman.
In 1973, Meat Loaf was cast in the original Los Angeles cast of The Rocky Horror Show, playing Eddie and Dr. Everett Scott. He took the role of Eddie in the last film.
His rising fortunes coincided with the successful start of his collaboration with Steinman on Bat Out of Hell in 1972, which prompted him to leave the theater world. The album had a long gestation, being rejected by many labels who failed to understand its genre-defying style. Todd Rundgren proved the album’s saving grace, producing the record and playing guitar. Finally, Cleveland International Records took a chance on the album, and history was made. Meat Loaf’s first solo single, You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth, was released in 1977 and charted in the US and UK Top 40.
A follow-up, Bad for Good, was marred by Meat Loaf losing his voice through a combination of touring, drugs and exhaustion. Instead, Steinman sang and released this album and wrote Dead Ringer for Meat Loaf in 1981. The title track was a duet with Cher. The album was accompanied by a mockumentary in which Meat Loaf starred himself and a fan, Marvin.
However, Steinman and Meat Loaf fell out and sued, leaving the latter to hire songwriters for his upcoming album, Midnight at the Lost and Found. He failed to convince his label to pay for two Steinman songs that Meat Loaf says were written for him – Total Eclipse of the Heart, later a No. 1 hit for Bonnie Tyler, and Making Love Out of Nothing at All, a No. 2 hit for air supply.
Although a big live draw, Meat Loaf’s records dipped commercially in the 1980s. During this decade he made inroads into comedy, trying out stand-up and performing in the United with Hugh Laurie.
But Meat Loaf’s coronation was yet to come. Reunited with Steinman and defying industry commentators skeptical of the idea of a comeback, he released Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, a worldwide hit that won him Grammy and Brit awards. His later 90s albums went platinum in the UK.
His profile remained high in the new millennium, but on November 17, 2003, during a performance at Wembley Arena, Meat Loaf collapsed from what was later diagnosed as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. After surgery, he continued to tour and recorded Bat Out of Hell III with Steinman, released in 2006. A single, It’s All Coming Back to Me Now, charted at No. 6 in the UK, its position the highest in nearly 11 years. .
He released his 12th and now final album, Braver Than We Are, in 2016. That year, he collapsed on stage in Canada – leading the New York Post to prematurely report his death – and subsequently committed to better protect their health.
On April 19, 2021, Jim Steinman died of kidney failure. Despite the death of his longtime collaborator, Meat Loaf told fans in November that he was due to return to the studio in January 2022 to record songs for a new album.
He is survived by his wife, Deborah Gillespie, his daughter Amanda Aday and his daughter-in-law Pearl Aday from his first marriage to Leslie G Edmonds.