Meat Loaf 1947 – 2022
The legendary performer has died at age 74.
Classic rock superstar Meat Loaf, whose iconic Bat Out Of Hell album sold over 65 million copies worldwide, died on Thursday at the age of 74. The news was confirmed by the vocalist’s family in a statement posted on Facebook. No cause of death was announced.
“Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight surrounded by his wife Deborah, daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends,” noted the statement. “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,” the statement added.
Born Michael Lee Aday in Dallas on September 27, 1947, he was given the nickname Meat Loaf by a football coach due to his large size. Aday moved to Los Angeles in 1967, where he led a number of bands that opened for the likes of Van Morrison’s Them, The Who, Grateful Dead and Taj Mahal. The theatrical vocalist went on to join a local production of the musical Hair and in 1972 participated in the off-Broadway production Rainbow. Eventually, Aday earned a spot in the Broadway production of Hair
In 1973, Meat Loaf met songwriter and producer Jim Steinman while auditioning for More Than You Deserve, a musical with a songbook penned by Steinman. The two collaborated on Bat Out Of Hell, Meat Loaf’s 1977 debut album. Produced by Todd Rundgren, the LP featured such massive hits as “Paradise By The Dashboard Light,” “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad,” “You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)” and its title track. Bat Out Of Hell is one of the best-selling albums of all time. However, follow-ups Dead Ringer (1981), Midnight At The Lost And Found (1983), Bad Attitude (1984) and Blind Before I Stop (1986) didn’t come close to achieving similar success.
Meat Loaf’s career had a rebirth in 1993 with the release of Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell. Written and produced by Steinman, the album topped the charts in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. Over 14 million copies sold worldwide with the single “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” hitting the No. 1 slot in 28 different countries. Meat Loaf toured extensively in the decades that followed.
Aday was also a talented actor and appeared as Eddie in the 1975 cult classic film The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Meat Loaf also was featured in such movies as Fight Club, Wayne’s World, Roadie and Leap Of Faith.
While Meat Loaf sued Steinman over the trademark rights to “Bat Out Of Hell” in 2006, the two eventually put the dispute behind them and reunited to collaborate on the 2016 LP Braver Than We Are. In recent years Meat Loaf dealt with numerous health issues including knee replacement surgery and back surgeries.
“The back surgeries hurt everything,” Meat Loaf wrote in a Facebook post last November announcing his return to the studio. “Before the back surgeries I was still trying to do shows, that’s when some of you saw or heard of me collapsing on stage and finally stopping the tour in the U.K. I couldn’t hit high notes because of back pain. Not a slight back pain. Pain that would bring you to your knees.”
Braver Than We Are remains his final album.