‘Bat Out Of Hell’ singer Meat Loaf dies at 74
American singer Meat Loaf, famous for his rock anthem ‘Bat Out of Hell’, has died aged 74, after a career in which he sold more than 100 million albums and performed in dozens of movies.
“Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side,” read a statement on his Facebook page early Friday.
“Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him for the past 24 hours.” No cause of death was given.
The burly Texas-born singer distinguished himself in the late 1970s with his booming vocal range and lavish stage productions.
His 1977 album “Bat out of Hell”, which is said to have sold some 43 million copies, is one of the best-selling of all time.
After a career rut, Meat Loaf enjoyed a revival with his biggest hit in 1993: the single “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” topped the charts in 28 countries and won him over. won a Grammy Award.
“We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all the love and support we are going through this time of grief at losing such an inspiring artist and a beautiful man,” he said. .
“From his heart to your souls… never stop swinging!”
Tributes poured in, including from former US President Donald Trump and stars such as Cher, who tweeted that she was “very sorry to her family, friends and fans”.
“RIP meatloaf. Love and prayers to all his family and close friends,” singer Boy George tweeted.
Adam Lambert, Queen’s lead singer since 2011, described Meat Loaf as “a sweet-hearted rockstar forever and ever”.
“You were so kind. Your music will always be iconic,” Lambert said on Twitter.
Born Marvin Lee Aday on September 27, 1947, Meat Loaf’s early years in Texas were tough.
“I forgave my father for trying to kill me with a butcher’s knife,” he once told the Telegraph.
But bullying at school over his weight – Meatloaf’s nickname came early – was followed by the devastating loss of his mother to cancer when he was still a teenager.
Soon after, he was on his way to New York, looking for ways to channel angst and histrionics into performance.
There he teamed up with musician and playwright Jim Steinman, who provided the wild, theatrical backing music to accompany Meat Loaf’s roaring vocals.
Meat Loaf’s other hit singles include “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” (1977) and “I’m Gonna Love Her for Both of Us” (1981).
Meat Loaf had started looking for acting work – winning roles in “Hair” and the original cast of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and its film adaptation.
Throughout his career, he also had several small roles in television shows and films, including “Wayne’s World” (1992).
His role in the 1999 cult classic “Fight Club” showcased his acting prowess in one of the most critically acclaimed films of the decade.
In 2016 he released a new album – his first since 2011 – and returned to a busy schedule after a two-year hiatus from touring, a series of health issues and speculation about his retirement.
The singer had collapsed on stage at least three times since 2003, including once in Canada in 2016 after suffering from dehydration while singing “I’d Do Anything For Love.”
He was one of the few major American musicians outside of the country genre to actively support the Republican Party.
In the run-up to the 2012 election that Barack Obama ended up winning, Meat Loaf campaigned for his challenger Mitt Romney.
Meat Loaf also befriended Donald Trump after appearing on the latter’s reality show ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’.
Trump described the singer as “smart, talented, outgoing and warm” in a statement Friday.