American singer Meat Loaf has died, aged 74. His death was announced on his official Facebook page this evening.
Born Michael Lee Aday, the singer died peacefully with his wife, Deborah, by his side.
The Facebook post read: “Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side. Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours.
“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!”
Meat Loaf’s career spanned six decades, with initial success arriving upon the release of his debut album, Bat Out of Hell in 1977. The album, although crammed with rock overtones, actually started out as a musical, Neverland, which was a futuristic version of Peter Pan written by Jim Steinman. Bat Out of Hell spawned two sequel LPs: Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell and Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose.
In total, Meat Loaf sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, while Bat Out of Hell is still among the top 10 best-selling LPs of all time.
Meat Loaf also appeared in an impressive 65+ films throughout his career including Fight Club opposite Brad Pitt, Focus, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
His nickname, Meat Loaf, was adopted after he was given it from his football coach in high school; setting an example of someone taking an insult and making it work for themselves.
On a personal note, I was 23 when I attended a press conference to interview Meat Loaf, and he was one of the first subjects I spoke to in my career in music journalism. We didn’t exactly see eye to eye since I had asked him about his ‘colourful’ lyrics that referred to drawing blood. It was in the midst of the HIV/AIDS crisis and I simply asked if Meat Loaf felt irresponsible for some of his bloodthirsty lyrics in a couple of his songs. The guy was in absolute shock and said: “Excuse me? What did you say? Wait a second; let me get this straight. You’re gonna draw a comparison from someone who’s gonna draw first blood to the AIDS crisis?”
Suffice to say, I got a real serving from the guy. Much ado about nothing, really. After all, I was only starting out in journalism, and it was just rock’n’roll.
RIP Meat Loaf. Your brand of rock was, and is, truly singular.
The announcement of Meat Loaf’s death prompted celebrity tributes on Friday evening.