Bat Out of Hell singer Meat Loaf dies aged 74 with wife by his side


Meat Loaf told a fan three weeks ago that he’d recently had an endoscopy and complained about never-ending lockdowns and restrictions, telling the fan in a Cameo video: ‘COVID’s a drag, but you can blame China. ‘ 

The singer, 74, died on Thursday surrounded by his family. TMZ cites sources who say he died after becoming critically ill with COVID-19. 

Two weeks ago, his daughter Pearl posted on Instagram that a number of her ‘friends and family’ had tested positive. She did not specify whether her father was one of them, but said: ‘Thank their respect for science that they’re all vaxxed, otherwise they’d be way worse.’ 

It remains unclear whether or not he was vaccinated – he refused to disclose it to fans, and urged them all not to talk politics when coming to his shows – and his family has not revealed if he died at his home in Nashville or in the hospital.

In the paid-for Cameo video, he tried to sing Happy Birthday to a fan called Marty but his voice croaked. 

‘I can’t really sing too well because I had anesthesia today and I had a pipe shoved down my throat. An endoscopy this morning. Ugh, Marty take care.’ 

He then said he hoped the fan would be able to enjoy his birthday with friends and family, saying: ‘I hope that you’re able to have at least your family celebrate your family with you. COVID is a drag and we’re all suffering because of it but you can blame China.

‘I love you Marty, and one more thing – keep rocking.’ 

In an interview last August, he said he was against politicians trying to force restrictions on people. The singer asked the journalist from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette whether or not they’d like a hug. 

‘I’m happy to give you a hug. I hug people in the middle of COVID,’ he said. The reporter replied: ‘You do? You’re not afraid?’  

In the paid-for Cameo video, he tried to sing Happy Birthday to a fan called Marty but his voice croaked. 'I can't really sing too well because I had anesthesia today and I had a pipe shoved down my throat. An endoscopy this morning. Ugh, Marty take care.'

In the paid-for Cameo video, he tried to sing Happy Birthday to a fan called Marty but his voice croaked. 'I can't really sing too well because I had anesthesia today and I had a pipe shoved down my throat. An endoscopy this morning. Ugh, Marty take care.'

In the paid-for Cameo video, he tried to sing Happy Birthday to a fan called Marty but his voice croaked. ‘I can’t really sing too well because I had anesthesia today and I had a pipe shoved down my throat. An endoscopy this morning. Ugh, Marty take care’

March last year: Singer Meat Loaf and country artist John Rich perform at Redneck Riviera Nashville on March 27, 2021 in what was his final show

March last year: Singer Meat Loaf and country artist John Rich perform at Redneck Riviera Nashville on March 27, 2021 in what was his final show

Meat Loaf and country artist John Rich performed at Redneck Riviera Nashville on March 27, 2021 in Nashville. It was his last show

Meat Loaf and country artist John Rich performed at Redneck Riviera Nashville on March 27, 2021 in Nashville. It was his last show

Before their joint performance in March 2021, Meat Loaf and John Rich were photographed promoting whiskey at the Redneck Riviera Nashville

Before their joint performance in March 2021, Meat Loaf and John Rich were photographed promoting whiskey at the Redneck Riviera Nashville

This is believed to be the last picture of Meat Loaf in public. It was taken on November 21 in Nashville, at a benefit for the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation

This is believed to be the last picture of Meat Loaf in public. It was taken on November 21 in Nashville, at a benefit for the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation 

On January 7, the singer's daughter posted that a number of her friends and family had tested positive but were doing 'ok' because they were all vaccinated. She did not specify in the post whether her father was one of them

On January 7, the singer’s daughter posted that a number of her friends and family had tested positive but were doing ‘ok’ because they were all vaccinated. She did not specify in the post whether her father was one of them

American singer Meat Loaf sold more than 100million albums worldwide and starred in 65 movies. He is pictured in 1993

American singer Meat Loaf sold more than 100million albums worldwide and starred in 65 movies. He is pictured in 1993

US singer Meat Loaf, whose hits included Bat Out of Hell, has died aged 74, a statement on his official Facebook page said

US singer Meat Loaf, whose hits included Bat Out of Hell, has died aged 74, a statement on his official Facebook page said

The singer is pictured with his two daughters, Pearl, left, and Amanda, right, in 1998.

The singer is pictured with his two daughters, Pearl, left, and Amanda, right, in 1998. 

The singer is shown with daughter Pearl Aday in 2012. She said that members of her family had recently tested positive for COVID on January 7

The singer is shown with daughter Pearl Aday in 2012. She said that members of her family had recently tested positive for COVID on January 7

Meat Loaf, who was severely asthmatic and battled a range of other health issues before the pandemic, said: ‘Oh, I’m scared to death! You kidding me? But I’m sorry, 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. And on CNN last night, it finally came out that the masks we’re all wearing are useless. But I’ve known that for six months. They don’t do anything. They don’t stop you from getting COVID. They’re just a nuisance and make your nose itch and make it so you can’t breathe.’ 

The reporter said: ‘Oh, God. We’re being controlled by everybody’ to which he replied: ‘Yeah, I know. But not me. If I die, I die, but I’m not going to be controlled.’  

Sources told TMZ that he would also rail against vaccine mandates, particularly in Australia.  In May last year, he shared Eric Clapton and Van Morrison’s anti-lockdown post Stand and Deliver.  

The pair released the song to raise money for struggling artists and musicians whose careers were stamped out by COVID and in particular, the punitive measures in the UK against the music industry. 

Meat Loaf said of it: ‘A song of Great Interest preformed by someone I know named Eric and someone I met named Van. A song of great interest and learning. Listen and Learn. Love you much.’ 

The singer, who was born Marvin Lee Aday, died with his wife Deborah at his side – and while no cause or other details were given by his family, he had suffered numerous health scares over the years. Meat Loaf had an extraordinary career over six decades with the Bat Out Of Hell trilogy among his most popular musical offerings. 

His hits included the near ten-minute title track from Bat Out Of Hell, Paradise By The Dashboard Light from the same album, and I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) from 1993 album Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell. 

The single I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) reached number one in 28 countries and earned him a Grammy award. The rocker also played the role of Eddie in the 1975 musical film The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Among those paying tribute to Meat Loaf today were singer Cher, who said she had ‘so much fun’ when she worked with him, and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber who said the ‘vaults of heaven will be ringing with rock’. 

In 2016 he was honoured with the Hero Award at the annual Q Awards music ceremony, which he dedicated to everyday heroes and called on people to ‘bring love back into this world’. His career spanned more than just music, with the musician also featured in a string of films including 1999’s Fight Club and 1992’s Wayne’s World.

Bat Out Of Hell was also adapted as a stage musical, which premiered in Manchester in 2017 after being written by long-time collaborator Jim Steinman and featured some of the star’s best loved hits. It is currently on a UK tour.

Meat Loaf had spoken openly about health issues that had plagued him, notably asthma, which caused him to collapse on stage during a concert in Pittsburgh in 2011, and in 2003 he collapsed at Wembley Arena in London and was admitted to hospital. 

He later held a press conference in Kensington to reassure fans about his health. Then, following an on-stage collapse in Canada in 2016, a statement said it was due to ‘severe dehydration’.

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

Prince Charles meets singers including Meat Loaf and Beyonce following 'Party in the Park' at Hyde Park in London in 2003

Prince Charles meets singers including Meat Loaf and Beyonce following ‘Party in the Park’ at Hyde Park in London in 2003

Meat Loaf and Cher pose with Des Lynam (centre) after they joined him on The Des Lynam Show on BBC Radio 2 in 1998

Meat Loaf and Cher pose with Des Lynam (centre) after they joined him on The Des Lynam Show on BBC Radio 2 in 1998

Meat Loaf (right) with long-time collaborator Jim Steinman (left) in March 1978. Mr Steinman died in April last year

Meat Loaf (right) with long-time collaborator Jim Steinman (left) in March 1978. Mr Steinman died in April last year

Texas-born Meat Loaf performs on NBC's 'Today' show in New York in October 2006. His family said today that he had died

Texas-born Meat Loaf performs on NBC’s ‘Today’ show in New York in October 2006. His family said today that he had died

Born in Dallas in 1947, Meat Loaf found early success on the stage in the 1970s, performing in the Broadway musicals Hair and The Rocky Horror Show – before he switched focus to rock music around 1972.

Meat Loaf started collaborating with Mr Steinman – who died last April – on a debut album that year which showcased his powerful voice and established his leather-clad, motorcycle-riding rock persona. 

The singer will be best remembered for famously singing in Bat Out Of Hell: ‘Like a bat out of hell I’ll be gone when the morning comes; When the night is over, like a bat out of hell, I’ll be gone, gone, gone.’

He is survived by his wife Deborah Gillespie – who is from Canada and married him in 2007 – and by daughters Pearl Aday, a singer who went on tour with him; and Amanda Aday, an actress from the HBO series Carnivale. 

He had both children with his first wife Leslie Edmonds, whom he met when she was working as a secretary at Bearsville Studios – and they were married from 1978 to 2001. Pearl is married to Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian.

The alleged origins of his stage name range from his weight to a favourite recipe of his mother’s – and he renamed himself Michael Lee Aday in 1984 after a Levi’s TV advert referred to how ‘Poor fat Marvin can’t wear Levi’s.’ 

The singer also went by the name ‘Meat Loaf’ off stage – and this was even printed on his passport, but he decided to switch it back to Michael after running into trouble in Germany where he was kept in immigration for six hours. 

One of his most famous anecdotes was the claim that he once grabbed Prince Andrew and screamed…



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