During his career, songs including Dead Ringer For Love, Paradise By The Dashboard Lights, and I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) sold millions of copies.
Meat Loaf was an American musician and actor born Michael Lee Aday (Marvin Lee Aday; September 27, 1947 – January 20, 2022). He was known for his spectacular live concerts and robust and wide-ranging voice. More than 65 million copies of his Bat Out of Hell trilogy (Bat Out of Hell, Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, and Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose) have been sold worldwide. The first album was on the charts for more than nine years, and it continues to sell an estimated 200,000 copies yearly more than four decades after its publication, making it one of the best-selling albums in history. Despite the financial success of Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for the song “I’d Do Anything for Love,” Aday struggled to find a permanent career in the United States.
This didn’t stop him from becoming a massive star, selling over 100 million albums worldwide. The key to his continued success was his legendary position and appeal in Europe, particularly in the United Kingdom, where he won the 1994 Brit Award for best-selling record and song, starred in the 1997 film Spice World, and placed 23rd in the UK charts for the number of weeks spent in 2006. On VH1’s “100 Greatest Hard Rock Artists,” he is ranked 96th.
Aday featured in more than 50 films and television shows, sometimes as himself and sometimes as characters that resembled his theatrical persona. He is best known for his roles as Eddie in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and Bob Paulson in Fight Club (1995). Dual parts in the original Broadway cast of The Rocky Horror Show were among his early theatre appearances. On and off-Broadway, he also featured in the musical Hair.
On September 27, 1947, Aday was born in Dallas, Texas, to Wilma Artie (née Hukel), a schoolteacher and member of the Vo-di-o-do Girls gospel quartet, and Orvis Wesley Aday, a former police officer. The latter founded the Griffin Grocery Company with his wife and a friend to market a homemade cough medicine.
In an interview, Meat Loaf claimed he was “brilliant red and remained that way for days,” that his father remarked he looked like “nine pounds of ground pork,” and that he persuaded medical workers to name his crib “Meat.”
Early on in your professional life
Aday founded his first band, Meat Loaf Soul, in Los Angeles, named after a moniker given to him by his football coach due to his size.
He was quickly approached with three recording offers, which he declined all three.
The Cave in Huntington Beach was Meat Loaf Soul’s debut show, opening for Van Morrison’s band Them and Question Mark and the Mysterians in 1968. The smoke machine they used to play their version of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning” produced too much smoke, and the venue had to be evacuated.
Aday had a career as an actor in television and movies and his appearance in the Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1975. In 1992, he appeared in Wayne’s World as a bouncer/doorman. He played Red in the 1998 thriller/drama film Black Dog opposite Patrick Swayze and Randy Travis, and he played the Spice Girls’ bus driver in the 1997 film Spice World. In the sixth season of The Outer Limits, he portrayed a character in the episode “Gettysburg.”
In the 2006 film Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny, Meat Loaf plays Jack Black’s father (uncredited) and sings “Kickapoo” as the film’s opening song.
Life and death on the individual level
Perspectives and family
Meat Loaf started working for Steinman in Woodstock, New York, in December 1978, where his future wife, Leslie G. Edmonds, was working as a secretary at Bearsville Studios; they married a month later. Leslie had a daughter called Pearl from a previous marriage, who went on to marry Scott Ian, the rhythm guitarist for Anthrax. Pearl was adopted by Meat Loaf in 1979 and given the name Aday. His family relocated to Stamford, Connecticut, in 1979. Amanda Aday, a future television actress, was born to Leslie in 1981.
Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome was identified in him in 2003. While playing in Pittsburgh in July 2011, Meat Loaf passed out on stage.
After canceling two previous gigs due to sickness, he slumped again on stage in Edmonton in June 2016 owing to extreme dehydration. While he lay unconscious on the stage, the playing of his pre-recorded voice-over vocal track continued, causing lip-syncing controversy.
Meat Loaf never joined a political party. He played at re-elected Democratic President Bill Clinton’s pre-inauguration ball in 1997 and at Republican President George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001. He contributed to Republican presidential contenders Rick Santorum and John McCain’s campaigns, the latter being the party’s nominee in the 2008 election. Meat Loaf backed Mitt Romney for president on October 25, 2012, noting his experience in the military.
Meat Loaf, 74, passed away on January 20, 2022, with no cause of death disclosed. “We are not ill, but we have too many friends and relatives testing positive right now, positive but doing well,” his daughter said on Instagram on January 7. Several singers, including Bonnie Tyler, Cher, and Brian May, as well as former President Donald Trump, paid homage to him on social media.