Meat Loaf, the singer whose Bat Out Of Hell album is one of the best-selling of all time, has died at the age of 74.
The news was confirmed on the star’s Facebook page by his family.
“Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side,” a message read.
The Bat Out of Hell star sold 100 million albums worldwide and appeared in movies like Fight Club, the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Wayne’s World.
“Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours,” his family continued.
“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,” his family added.
“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!”
The Dallas-born singer, born Marvin Lee Aday but also known as Michael, was best known for his Bat Out Of Hell trilogy, which sold millions of albums worldwide.
He released a string of other albums in the late 1970s and 1980s, most notably notably Dead Ringer and Midnight At The Lost And Found.
In the 90s, his hit I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) was the UK’s best-selling single of 1993 and earned him a Grammy Award.
On screen, he played Eddie in 1975 musical film The Rocky Horror Picture Show, was bouncer Tiny in 1992’s Wayne’s World, and appeared opposite Brad Pitt as bodybuilder Robert Paulsen in 1999’s Fight Club.
Bat Out Of Hell – which remains one of the top 10 best-selling albums of all-time, alongside LPs by Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and the Eagles – was also adapted as a stage musical, written by long-time collaborator Jim Steinman.
In a 2010 interview with the BBC, Meat Loaf spoke about his distinctive and dramatic vocal style, which ranged over three octaves.
“[I] had an offer to study opera and make a lot of money but it wasn’t for me – I’m too rebellious, too crazy,” he said.
“I made the right choices. I have no regrets. [It] might have saved some of my voice, you know – doing 200 rock shows a year will take it out of you.”
Tributes have been paid from the world of entertainment, with broadcaster Stephen Fry tweeting a reference to one of his songs. “I hope paradise is as you remember it from the dashboard light, Meat Loaf,” he wrote.
“Had a fun time performing a sketch with him on Saturday Live way back in the last century.
… he had the quality of being simultaneously frightening and cuddly, which is rare and rather wonderful …
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) January 21, 2022
Meat Loaf had his battles with illness and injuries over the years.
In 1978, he broke his leg jumping off a stage in Ottawa, Canada, finishing his tour performing in a wheelchair.
He also fainted on stage while performing in Pittsburgh in 2011 and then collapsed on stage during a concert in Canada in 2016.
Three years later, the star broke his collar bone falling off an interview stage at a convention in Texas.