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MEAT LOAF,
1947-2022

Meat Loaf, the husky singer and actor whose theatrical flair and Bat Out of Hell albums sustained his career for decades, has died at the age of 74. The cause was reportedly COVID-19.

His family confirmed his death early this morning on his Facebook page. “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," the post read. “From his heart to your souls… Don’t ever stop rocking!”

Born Marvin Aday, the Texas native balanced theater, film, recording and live performances in the decade prior to his breakout hit, 1977’s Bat Out of Hell. Certified 14-times platinum, the 1975 opus, produced by Todd Rundgren, features the songs of Jim Steinman. They shopped the record extensively, finally finding a buyer in Cleveland International, which had a deal with Epic.

One of the best-selling albums of all time—global estimates have it surpassing 40m units—it scored with the title track, “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad" and the epic “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” which earned considerable FM airplay despite its eight-and-a-half-minute running time.

Delivering an equally successful follow-up proved tough, however, as Meat Loaf suffered legal, financial and emotional issues and even lost his singing voice for a while. His records flopped.

He reunited with Steinman to record Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell 16 years after his debut. It hit #1 and sold 14m copies worldwide. The single “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” went to #1 in 28 countries and won the Grammy for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance. A Steinman-less Bat Out of Hell III was released in 2006.

Meat Loaf appeared in more than 50 movies and TV shows, including Roadie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fight Club, Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny and Wayne’s World, the most recent being a 2017 appearance in the CBS series Elementary.

He stopped touring in 2016 after collapsing onstage in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

In November Meat Loaf announced that he was returning to the recording studio this month to finish a new album with seven new songs and live tracks from the ‘70s into the 2000s.

 

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