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Meat Loaf Dies: ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ Singer & ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ Actor Was 74

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Meat Loaf, the hardworking singer and actor whose Bat Out of Hell is one of the best-selling albums ever and who played Eddie in The Rocky Horror Picture Showhas died. He was 74.

The Grammy winner born Marvin Lee Aday died Thursday night with his wife Deborah by his side, Meat Loaf’s longtime agent Michael Greene told Deadline on behalf of the family. He added that the singer’s daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends also had a chance to spend time with him and say their goodbyes during the last 24 hours. A cause of death is not being released.

“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,” Meat Loaf’s family said in a statement. “From his heart to your souls…don’t ever stop rocking!”

Meat Loaf onstage in 2005
Mega Agency

Written and produced by Jim Steinman, Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell is among the best-selling albums in history, racking up 14 million units sold in the U.S. alone. Worldwide sales estimates go as high as 30 million. Its U.S. singles “Two of Three Ain’t Bad” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” — which peaked at No. 11 and No. 39 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively — both were certified platinum in 2018, four decades after release.

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“Paradise by the Dashboard Light” — a duet with Ellen Foley, who went on to star in Season 1 of Night Court — famously features longtime New York Yankees announcer “calling the action” as the teenage narrator makes a move on his girlfriend. Watch the video for the song below, with Karla DeVito lip-synching the “Stop right there!” role. She then went on tour with Meat Loaf to support the album.

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The disc spent 522 weeks — 10 years — on the UK album chart.

Meat Loaf and Steinman also collaborated on the 1993 album Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, which has sold more than 5 million units in the U.S. alone. Its platinum lead single “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” spent five weeks at No. 1 in late 1993, by far Meat Loaf’s biggest hit. It also topped the UK chart and won Meat Loaf the Grammy for Best Rock Performance, Solo. Steinman died last year.

Meat Loaf has sold more 100 million albums worldwide. His 1980s LPs Dead Ringer and Bad Attitude sold moderately stateside, but 1995’s Welcome to the Neighborhood made the Top 20 and went platinum. He taped an episode of VH1’s Storytellers that was released as an album in 1999.

Meat Loaf also sang lead on several tracks for Ted Nugent’s million-selling 1976 album Free-for-All.

Meat Loaf as Eddie in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” 1975
Everett Collection

But before Bat Out of Hell and the rest, there was The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Meat Loaf all but stole the 1975 film version of the stage musical as Eddie, a wild and wildly unlucky ex-delivery boy who belts out the hard-rocking “Hot Patootie” before meeting a difficult end. The movie, which also starred Susan Sarandon and Tim Curry, has become an all-time cult classic. Its soundtrack also hit the Top 50 and is certified gold. Meat Loaf also played the Eddie role onstage.

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Born on September 27, 1947, in Dallas, he was a high school football player before relocating to New York City in the late 1960s, where he began landing roles on the stage. He appeared in the Broad way musical Hair and would return to the big stage to play Eddie and Dr. Scott in The Rocky Horror Show in 1975 and had a short run in Rockabye Hamlet the following year.

Meat Loaf was the musical guest on a 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live, on which he played Bat Out of Hell’s “All Revved Up and Nowhere to Go” and “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.” He often host the turn-of-the-century music series The List on VH1. His many other screen credits include the features Roadie, Motorama, Crazy in Alabama, Stage Fright, Spice World, Leap of Faith and Americathon. He also appeared in several episodes of the 2017-18 series Ghost Wars. 

Last year, Meat Loaf sealed a deal to develop a relationship competition series based on “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).” He was executive producer on the project and was set to appear as, per the logline, the ethereal figure behind the madness who would pull the strings in the show. Couples were to compete in a variety of comedic physical games designed to reveal how well they can work together and how much they really trust and believe in each other – all to a soundtrack of classic hits, performed live in studio by the original artists as well as new stars.

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Here is Meat Loaf performing “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”:


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