'Bat Out Of Hell' singer Meat Loaf dies at 74

January 21, 2022
Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf

DALLAS — Meat Loaf, the singer whose Bat Out Of Hell album is one of the best-selling of all time, has died at the age of 74.

The news was confirmed on the star's Facebook page by his family.

"Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side," a message read.

The star sold 100 million albums worldwide and also appeared in movies like Fight Club, the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Wayne's World.

"Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours," his family continued.

"We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man."

"We thank you for your understanding of our need for privacy at this time.

"From his heart to your souls...don't ever stop rocking!"

The Dallas-born singer was born Marvin Lee Aday but also known as Michael, and got his nickname when his dad said he looked as red as meat at birth, before a high school football coach added the "loaf".

The star was best known for his Bat Out Of Hell trilogy, which sold millions of albums worldwide.

He released a string of other albums in the late 1970s and 1980s, most notably notably Dead Ringer and Midnight at the Lost and Found.

Cher, who duetted with him on the 1981 track Dead Ringer for Love, recalled having "had so much fun" with the singer on the track.

In the 90s, his hit I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) was the UK's best-selling single of 1993 and earned him a Grammy Award.

On screen, he played Eddie in 1975 musical film The Rocky Horror Picture Show, was bouncer Tiny in 1992's Wayne's World, and appeared opposite Brad Pitt as bodybuilder Robert Paulsen in 1999's Fight Club.

Bat Out Of Hell - which remains one of the top 10 biggest-selling albums ever, alongside LPs by Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and the Eagles - was also adapted as a stage musical, written by long-time collaborator Jim Steinman.

"I've never been hip or cool - just right," Meat Loaf told the BBC in 2006.

In a 2010 interview with the BBC, he spoke about his distinctive and dramatic vocal style, which ranged over three octaves.

"[I] had an offer to study opera and make a lot of money but it wasn't for me - I'm too rebellious, too crazy," he said.

"I made the right choices. I have no regrets. [It] might have saved some of my voice, you know - doing 200 rock shows a year will take it out of you."

Tributes have been paid from the world of entertainment.

Bonnie Tyler, who recorded an album with Meat Loaf in 1989, said he was "a larger than life character with a voice & stage presence to match & is one of those rare people who truly was a one off talent and personality."

Theater composer Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote: "The vaults of heaven will be ringing with rock. RIP Meatloaf."

Queen frontman Adam Lambert remembered him as "a gentle hearted powerhouse rockstar forever and ever".

Broadcaster Stephen Fry tweeted a reference to the lyrics from Paradise by the Dashboard Light, a song from Bat Out of Hell. "I hope paradise is as you remember it from the dashboard light, Meat Loaf," he wrote.

"Had a fun time performing a sketch with him on Saturday Live way back in the last century."

British vocalist Lorraine Crosby, who sang on I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That), told BBC News he was "a great man" who was "very generous with everything".

The star was "larger than life" and "had a temper", she said, but added: "He didn't fall out with you for long. He'd say his bit, and then everything would be fine the next day."

Broadcaster Piers Morgan described him as "one of rock music's all-time great characters" and "a wondrously talented, flamboyant, funny, outrageous and rebellious chameleon".

Meat Loaf had his battles with illness and injuries over the years.

In 1978, he broke his leg jumping off a stage in Ottawa, Canada, finishing his tour performing in a wheelchair.

He also fainted on stage while performing in Pittsburgh in 2011 and then collapsed on stage during a concert in Canada in 2016.

Three years later, the star broke his collar bone falling off an interview stage at a convention in Texas.

When Jim Steinman died last year Meat Loaf paid tribute, posting: "Coming here soon, my brother Jimmy." — BBC

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