- 21 Jan 22
Michael Lee Aday, aka Meat Loaf, had a career spanning six decades, selling over 100 million albums and appearing in 65 films.
US singer and actor Meat Loaf has passed away at the age of 74, his family has confirmed.
The Dallas musician born Marvin Lee Aday died on 20 January with his wife Deborah by his side, according to a Facebook post shared last night.
“Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side," the post reads. "Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours."
“His amazing career spanned 6 decades that saw him sell over 100 million albums worldwide and star in over 65 movies, including Fight Club, Focus, Rocky Horror Picture Show and Wayne’s World. Bat Out of Hell remains one of the top 10 selling albums of all time.”
“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," the post added.
“From his heart to your souls... don’t ever stop rocking!”
In Los Angeles, Aday formed his first band, Meat Loaf Soul, after a nickname coined by his football coach because of his weight. He was offered three recording contracts almost immediately, which he turned down. Meat Loaf Soul's first gig was in Huntington Beach in 1968 at the Cave, opening for Van Morrison's band Them and Question Mark and the Mysterians. In his early days, Meat Loaf joined the Los Angeles production of the musical Hair, gaining enough publicity to record in Motown and star in Rainbow off-Broadway.
Hit single 'I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)' reached number one in 28 countries and earned Meat Loaf a Grammy award in 1994. Meat Loaf’s 1977 debut album Bat Out of Hell is one of the biggest-selling albums in US history with more than 14 million units sold.
Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell trilogy — Bat Out of Hell, Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, and Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose — has sold more than 65 million albums worldwide. More than four decades after its release, the first album still sells an estimated 200,000 copies annually and stayed on the charts for over nine years, making it one of the best-selling albums in history.
The rocker also played the role of Eddie in the 1975 musical film The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and in 2016 was honoured with the Hero Award at the annual Q Awards music ceremony, which he dedicated to everyday heroes and called on people to “bring love back into this world”.
His career spanned more than just music. The renowned musician also appeared in a string of films. including 1999’s Fight Club and 1992’s Wayne’s World. Bat Out Of Hell was also adapted as a stage musical, which was written by long-time collaborator Jim Steinman and featured some of Aday's best-loved hits.
Meat Loaf had spoken openly about health issues that had plagued him in recent times - especially asthma, which caused him to collapse on stage during a concert in Pittsburgh in 2011. He also had collapsed in 2003 at Wembley Arena in London and was admitted to hospital immediately. Meat Loaf has fainted on stage at a gig in Edmonton, Canada back in 2016, later cancelling a string of dates.
Numerous stars have paid tribute to the multi-talented artist. His one-time collaborator Cher, who joined Meat Loaf on 1981 hit 'Dead Ringer For Love', spoke of having 'so much fun' recording with Meat Loaf.
Piers Morgan added: "One of rock music’s all-time great characters... A wondrously talented, flamboyant, funny, outrageous and rebellious chameleon. Sad news."
Irish singer-songwriter Imelda May described him as a "wildly talented, charismatic and wonderful man".
The Dubliner recorded a version of 'I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)' with Meat Loaf, and spoke kindly of her "pal", writing on Twitter: "Meatloaf has passed. I'm so lucky I got to know, sing and laugh with such a wildly talented, charismatic, big hearted, supportive, high spirited and wonderful man.
"I’ll really miss you pal. #RIPMeatLoaf. My love to Deborah, his daughters and right hand man @PaulCrookMusic."
Slash, Boy George and Stephen Fry added their condolences, sharing poignant memories with the singer.
— Slash (@Slash) January 21, 2022
R.I.P Meatloaf. Love and prayers to all his family and close friends. He once turned me upside down in a Chinese Restaurant in St Johns Wood.
— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) January 21, 2022
— Heather Wixson (@MMEFXBook out 10/20!) (@thehorrorchick) January 21, 2022
I hope paradise is as you remember it from the dashboard light, Meat Loaf. Had a fun time performing a sketch with him on Saturday Live way back in the last century - https://t.co/RxoH36OYHw
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) January 21, 2022
Stuart Clark of Hot Press met the star back in 2001 ahead of his Dublin show.
"Ever since I holidayed in Ireland with my wife, I've loved this country and when the opportunity came along to do a full tour rather than a couple of one night stands, I jumped at it," he said.
"There were two dates in particular," he recalls, "which, for entirely different reasons, will stick in my mind forever. The first was way down the country in what I can only describe as a barn and when we turned up there was no power in the building. The guy bringing the generator arrived three hours late because his wife wasn't well and the crew nearly had a nervous breakdown getting everything working in time. Anyway, from the size of the place I reckoned you'd just about be able to squeeze a thousand people in but they sold 3,500 tickets and somehow they all fitted.
"The only trouble we had was up near the border. The promoter put half the crowd into a building adjacent to the one I was actually playing in. They couldn't see or hear anything, so I decided not to take a fee for the show and told them to demand their money back. The promoter's brother got his nose broken when this wild animal masquerading as a bouncer took a swing at me, missed and hit him instead. It was real Dodge City stuff!"
Revisit Hot Press' review of Meat Loaf's 2001 Dublin concert here.
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