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Meat Loaf, 'Bat out of Hell' singer and actor, dies at 74: 'Don't ever stop rocking!'

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·5 min read
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Meat Loaf, the "Bat Out of Hell" singer and The Rocky Horror Picture Show actor, has died. He was 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," his publicist told Yahoo Entertainment in a statement on Friday.

Born Marvin Lee Aday, his "amazing career spanned six 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," the statement continued. His 1977 debut album, Bat Out of Hell "remains one of the top 10 selling albums of all time," spawning two sequels and a rock opera.

"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 said. "We thank you for your understanding of our need for privacy at this time."

It ended with, "From his heart to your souls... don’t ever stop rocking!"

A cause of death is not being released.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 21: Singer-songwriter Meat Loaf visits SiriusXM Studios on August 21, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
Singer-songwriter Meat Loaf visits SiriusXM Studios on August 21, 2019 in New York City. (Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

The singer — whose stage name came from a childhood nickname, as one of the tales goes — was born in Dallas. He moved to Los Angeles in his twenties, forming the band Meat Loaf Soul, and opened for bands including the Who and the Grateful Dead.

Having sung and acted in school productions, he landed a role in the L.A. production of the musical Hair. Later, he joined the original L.A. Roxy cast of The Rocky Horror Show, playing Eddie and Dr. Everett Scott. That led him to be cast as Eddie in the 1975 film adaptation, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a cult classic. He also served as an understudy for his friend John Belushi in Lemmings, a National Lampoon stage production.

Meat Loaf in the Rocky Horror Picture Show (Photo: Everett Collection)
Meat Loaf in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Photo: Everett Collection)

Meat Loaf met writer Jim Steinman and they became collaborators, with Steinman writing and composing the music and Meat Loaf performing with his famous stage presence. They created Bat Out of Hell, which was released in 1977 and became a massive hit. Songs also included "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" and "Bat Out of Hell" — and it Meat Loaf a huge star.

The 1993 follow-up, Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, also produced numerous hit singles, including "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" — for which Meat Loaf won the 1993 Grammy 1993 for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance.

Meatloaf performs at the Songwriters Hall of Fame 2012 Annual Induction and Awards Ceremony June 14, 2012 in New York.  The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates songwriters, educates the public with regard to their achievements, and produces a spectrum of professional programs devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships.    AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY        (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GettyImages)
Meat Loaf performs at the Songwriters Hall of Fame 2012 Annual Induction and Awards Ceremony June 14, 2012 in New York. (Photo:TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GettyImages)

Meat Loaf and Steinman had a complicated relationship, as well as legal battles. Steinman died in April.

Meat Loaf appeared in many other movies — Robert "Bob" Paulson in 1999's Fight Club and Tiny in 1992's Wayne's World as well as Black Dog (1988) and Road (1980) — and TV shows ( Elementary, Glee, Nash Bridges, South Park, The Equalizer). He also appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice in 2011.

The singer had several health problems. He had heart surgery in 2003 after collapsing on stage. He also fell ill while performing in 2011 and 2016.

Here are some of the reactions to the news, including from Cher who sang with him on "Dead Ringer for Love" and Bonnie Tyler:

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