Meat Loaf is a legend for his strong voice and live theatrical performances. He was also a great ambassador of the expression ‘larger that life’ and won the hearts and minds of millions through his enthusiasm and spirit. 

In six decades of hard living and hard rocking, he sold over 100 million albums. This includes the hit 1977 song Bat Out Of Hell. It is one of the greatest-selling records ever, along with Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. 

Marvin Lee Aday, a Dallas police officer who was alcoholic and a singer in a girl’s gospel quartet were his parents.

He was very unhappy with his father in Texas during the early years. He once revealed in an interview: ‘I’ve forgiven my father for trying to kill me with a butcher’s knife.’

He was also bullied at school. His nickname Meat Loaf came from his infidelity about his weight. After jostling with his football coach at Thomas Jefferson High school, Meat Loaf was named after him. 

This was all followed by his devastating loss to cancer as a teenager of his mother. Classic Rock magazine told him that he grabbed his mother’s body and yelled: “You cannot have her!” 

He was inspired by his mom’s love for Meat Loaf. His father died shortly after he graduated from high school. 

Meat Loaf performing in 1982. The American singer has died at the age of 74, his family said today

Meat Loaf performing in 1982. His family today announced that the American singer had died at the tender age of 74.

Prince of Wales (left) meeting Meat Loaf and Beyonce following the 'Party in the Park' event in Hyde Park in 2003

Prince of Wales (left) with Meat Loaf in Hyde Park, 2003.

Meat Loaf (left) being greeted at Stafford railway station by Prince Edward in 1987

Meat Loaf (left), greeting Prince Edward at Stafford Railway Station in 1987

Hard-living and hard-rocking, Meat Loaf sold more than 100 million albums over a career that spanned six decades

Meat Loaf was hardworking and hard rocking. His six-decade-spanning career saw him sell more than 100,000,000 albums.

His trademark voice brought him a series of record deals for Meat Loaf Soul and opened for acts like the Who and Grateful Dead. 

However, he quickly quit the band to go on with the musical Hair. He made his debut in the theatre and went on to become a star. In the film and stage versions of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. 

He found the appeal of music irresistible and decided to quit performing on stage in order to pursue his full-time career.   

Not long after he was on his way to New York, where he teamed up with musician and playwright Jim Steinman who provided the wild, theatrical backing music to accompany Meat Loaf’s bellowing voice.

The duo was rejected by all major labels for years. Finally, they were able to meet Todd Rundgren who thought their long motorcycle rock operas funny.

They were teamed up with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band musicians, and “Bat Out of Hell” was born in 1977. It went on to sell 43,000,000 copies around the world.

But the superstardom that the singer experienced was unexpected and was far from prepared. The demands of constant touring and celebrity soon took their toll. 

Soon after the release of his album, he experienced a drug- and alcohol-fueled breakdown. His wife Leslie Edmunds supported him and he was married to her in 1978. 

The year-long, grueling global tour that he undertook was an incredible experience for him. His unpredictable performances were a delight to the audience. One performance in Toronto left him with a broken leg. 

Louder Sound, the founder of Louder Sound, wrote that there were “fights, mutinies and drugs at each stop.”

“Meat worked so hard every night, he needed oxygen to keep him alive,”

Meat Loaf posing in front of a red background wearing a leather jacket and jeans with a smirk on his face

Meat Loaf, wearing a leather jacket with jeans and a smirk on the face, poses before a red backdrop.

American singers Cher (left) and Meat Loaf posing for the media with Des Lynam in 1998

Cher, an American singer (left), and Meat Loaf pose with Des Lynam for the media in 1998

Meat Loaf, pictured in London in 1978. His 1977 smash hit album Bat Out Of Hell is one of the best-selling of all time, alongside records from the likes of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston

Meat Loaf, photographed in London in 1978. The 1977 hit record Bat Out Of Hell, which he released in 1978 is among the most popular of all-time.

Meat Loaf posing with very excited fans in this undated photo. He sold millions of records

Meat Loaf with his very enthusiastic fans. His records were sold in the millions. 

Meat Loaf arriving for the Kerrang Awards 2006 at The Brewery in London in August that year

Meat Loaf arrives at The Brewery, London for the Kerrang Awards 2006.

Meat Loaf and his wife Deborah at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in February 2008. She was by her husband's side when he died

Meat Loaf with his wife Deborah in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, February 2008. He died while she was at her side.

Nervous breakdowns, broken bones and piles of cocaine were some of the results. That was just the beginning.

Karla Devito (his backing singer) said to Louder Sound that “He is tortured.” “There is no question about that.” 

Fans were disappointed by the results of his subsequent efforts. To make matters worse, his overwhelming success created tension between him and Jim Steinman, who felt he received insufficient credit for his role. 

Steinman, a legend in the music business, started working with other artists. Meat Loaf’s career was beginning to fade with Epic ending his contract.

They rekindled their love and Meat Loaf’s 1993 sequel, Bat Out Of Hell made Meat Loaf a comeback. 

Meat Loaf is widely regarded as the best comeback in rock history. He went on a second world tour with his passion unabated. 

One concert in London saw him tell the audience to “never ever, ever stop rocking”.  

The lead single, I’d do anything for love (But I Won’t), reached number one in 28 nations and won him a Grammy Award. 

Pete Waterman, music producer and musician said that Meat Loaf would be affected by the death of Steinman in 2011.

Meat Loaf, as he appears in the movie 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show', 1975. He dipped in and out of acting throughout his life

Meat Loaf as he appeared in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975). He was a bit of an actor throughout his whole life.

Meat Loaf appeared in the 1999 film Fight Club alongside Edward Norton -  a film that also starred Brad Pitt

Meat Loaf appeared in the 1999 film Fight Club alongside Edward Norton –  a film that also starred Brad Pitt

Meat Loaf in the 1997 film Spice World, where he appeared as the Spice Girls' bus driver Dennis

Meat Loaf was the bus driver Dennis for Spice Girls in Spice World 1997.

Teddy Pendergrass, Meat Loaf and Deborah Harry of Blondie on a night out

Teddy Pendergrass, Meat Loaf, and Deborah Harry from Blondie at a Night Out

Meat Loaf at E.B. Marks Music Room working on his debut album Bat Out Of Hell in 1976

Meat Loaf at E.B. Marks Music Room, working on his 1976 debut album Bat Out Of Hell

ITV’s Good Morning Britain interviewed him and said that it was like losing your partner. It takes something from you. It’s impossible to know what it does for you. That must have had an impact.

“But, he was an extraordinary character. One time, I was with him on a flight to New York. He brought a small box, which looked like a large trunk filled with beef burgers. It was amazing, what that boy could eat, I’ll tell you – he could eat.’

“Meat Loaf” was Meat Loaf. The legend was not only his size, but also the story. It was his voice – you know, you knew what you got with Meat Loaf. It was 100% of everything. 

Meat Loaf’s 1995 album Welcome To The Neighbourhood was certified platinum. In 2006, he released The Monster Is Loose in Bat Out Of Hell. 

Steinman also wrote a musical adaptation of The Bat Out Of Hell Trilogy. It featured many of his most popular hits.   

His acting skills were often rediscovered, with the most memorable being a role as Bob (a large-chested man) in “Fight Club”.

Also in 1997, he made an unforgettable appearance as Spiceworld’s bus driver.  

He released his second album in 2016, which was also his first since 2011. In 2016 he resumed his busy schedule following a gap of two years.

Meat Loaf suffered from health problems, including asthma. He collapsed onstage during a Pittsburgh concert in 2011. 

He suffered from a medical condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White, which causes an irregular heartbeat, and underwent surgery in 2003 in London.

Meat Loaf was reunited again with Steinman in 2016. The album, Braver Than We Are, reached the fourth spot on the UK albums charts. 

Since 2003, the singer fell onstage at least three more times. In Canada, he had fallen again in 2016, after suffering from dehydration singing ‘I’d do Anything for Love’.

 Meat Loaf has two daughters – TV actress Amanda Aday and adopted daughter Pearl – from his marriage to ex-wife Leslie. 

Because of taunts from his childhood about his weight, Meat Loaf changed his name to Michael as an adult.

He spoke out about the emotional impact that Levi’s Jeans’ slogan, “Poor fat Marvin won’t wear Levi’s” had on his emotions.