Grammy-winner Meat Loaf dies of COVID-19

Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf (Sept. 27, 1947 – Jan. 20, 2022 CREDIT: Shutterstock)

Grammy award winner Meat Loaf passed away Thursday night with his wife Deborah and daughters Pearl and Amanda at his side. He was 74.

The news was confirmed on his Facebook page. 

“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 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!”

Meat Loaf was reportedly sick with COVID-19 during the week before his death. While the official cause of death for the musician and actor has not yet been revealed, TMZ reported Friday that the Paradise by the Dashboard Light singer had to cancel a business dinner earlier this week after becoming “seriously ill with COVID.”

It’s unclear if he was vaccinated against the deadly virus.

Last year, the 74-year-old entertainer said that even though he was “scared to death” of getting sick, he still hugged “people in the middle of COVID” and was okay with potentially dying of the deadly virus.

It was clear in an interview with The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in August that the star had his fill of COVID-19 regulations.

“I understood stopping life for a little while, but they cannot continue to stop life because of politics. And right now they’re stopping because of politics,” he said.

The father of two also said that he’d known for six months “the masks we’re all wearing are useless.”

He also complained about an airplane “Nazi” who told him to wear his mask when traveling, saying, “They’re power-mad now.”

After the interviewer replied, “We’re being controlled by everybody,” the rocker agreed: “Yeah, I know. But not me. If I die, I die, but I’m not going to be controlled.”

Meat Loaf’s real name was Michael Lee Aday (born Marvin Lee Aday) in Dallas, Texas, on September 27, 1947. In 1965, Aday graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School, having appeared in school stage productions such as Where’s Charley? and The Music Man

Aday told several versions of the origin of his stage name. In an interview with The Dallas Morning News in 2015, when he returned to Thomas Jefferson High School to be recognized in a class of distinguished alumni, he shared one:

“My father gave me the name Meat when I rolled out of [Baylor] hospital,” he told Robert Wilonsky. “The ‘Loaf’ came later, at Cary Middle School, when I stepped on the [football] coach’s foot. Everybody laughed. But everyone in eighth grade thinks everything’s funny. The next day on my locker they taped a piece of paper that said ‘Meat Loaf.’”

Eventually he found his way to Los Angeles where he formed his first band, Meat Loaf Soul, after his nickname. Over time the band underwent several changes of lead guitarists, changing the name of the band each time. The new names included Popcorn Blizzard and Floating Circus. As Floating Circus, they opened for the Who, the Fugs, the Stooges, MC5, Grateful Dead, and the Grease Band.

In late 1973, Meat Loaf was cast in the original L.A. Roxy cast of The Rocky Horror Show, playing the parts of Eddie and Dr. Everett Scott. The success of the musical led to the filming of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in which Meat Loaf played only Eddie. 

About the same time, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman started work on Bat Out of Hell. Meat Loaf convinced Epic Records to shoot videos for four songs, Bat Out of Hell, Paradise by the Dashboard Light, You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth, and Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad. He then convinced Lou Adler, the producer of Rocky Horror, to run the Paradise video as a trailer to the movie. Bat Out of Hell has sold an estimated 43 million copies globally (15 million of those in the United States), making it one of the best-selling albums of all time.

In 1993, his song I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) was his only track to top the Billboard 100 singles chart, but it won him the 1994 Grammy Award for best rock vocal solo performance.

Aday appeared in over 50 films and television shows, sometimes as himself or as characters resembling his stage persona. One of his most notable roles was Bob Paulson, a former steroid-popping wrestler suffering from gynecomastia in 1999’s Fight Club, alongside Brad Pitt and Ed Norton.

Meat Loaf and Steinman’s final two collaborations included the album Braver Than We Are in 2016 and Bat Out of Hell: The Musical, which debuted in London’s West End in 2017 and played off-Broadway in 2019. All in all, Meat Loaf released 12 studio albums, the last being Braver Than We Are in 2016.

In later life, Meat Loaf suffered a series of health problems. In 2003 he was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome and underwent heart surgery in the same year. He also collapsed during concerts in Pittsburgh in 2011 and in Edmonton, Canada in 2016.

Following the news of the rocker’s death, various entertainers and performers who collaborated with him or loved his work took to social media to share their remembrances and honor the late musician:

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Michael Lee Aday whom we all adored as Meat Loaf is survived by his wife Deborah and daughters Pearl and Amanda.

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