Friday, January 21, 2022

Meat Loaf dead at 74

Singer and actor Meat Loaf aka Marvin Lee Aday died on January 20 at the age of 74.

“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,” shared his family in a statement on social media. “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. From his heart to your souls…don’t ever stop rocking!”

Born and raised in Dallas, TX, Meat Loaf first gained stage experience in a series of high school plays before moving to Los Angeles, where he formed Meat Loaf Soul in 1968 and performed in area clubs. The rocker raised his profile with a stint in the Los Angeles production of “Hair” that led to a recording contract with Motown; he teamed with Shaun "Stoney" Murphy for a 1971 album under the name Stoney & Meatloaf that produced a minor hit on the soul charts.

More acting work followed, and it was during a brief stint with a New York Public Theatre in 1973 that Meat Loaf met his future collaborator, Jim Steinman; further experience in off-Broadway and Broadway productions led to the Los Angeles version of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, which then saw the singer score a role in the 1975 film adaptation.

Meat Loaf and Steinman began work on an album as early as 1974, and continued to write and record demo material while facing indifference from the music industry. Recording with producer Todd Rundgren eventually got started in 1975, with members of Rundgren’s Utopia and Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band among the players while the producer joined in as well.

With help from Stevie Van Zandt, the project eventually secured a record deal and “Bat Out Of Hell” was released in the fall of 1977.

Meat Loaf went on the road to promote the set, with a Saturday Night Live performance and success with the ballad, “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad”, helping the record take off to platinum status and beyond.

While “Bat Out Of Hell” would go on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time – with 43 million sold worldwide – the burden to follow it up proved too much for both Steinman and Meat Loaf, who went through a rough time before issuing the “Dead Ringer” album in 1981.

Three more records followed to declining interest while the debut continued to sell, and things turned around temporarily when 1993’s “Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell” landed a radio hit with “I’d Do Anything For Love(But I Won’t Do That)” and more platinum album sales.

Meat Loaf would release another six studio records by the time his last, 2016’s “Braver Than We Are”, was released.

A number of health issues reportedly made it difficult for Meat Loaf to sing, let alone perform live shows on the road, and the 2016 tour would turn out to be his final one.

Steinman passed away a hospital in Danbury, CT in April 2021 at the age of 73.