The dashboard lights in paradise are dimming tonight for Meat Loaf, the 74-year-old pop icon whose musical career was jump-started in the dorky 1970s when he played the role of Eddie in the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The singer, born in Dallas as Marvin Lee Aday, passed away on January 20.
No cause of death was announced by his family, who told his grieving fans: “From his heart to your souls. . .don’t ever stop rocking!” He is survived by his widow Deborah and daughters Pearl and Amanda. In recent years, the singer had been sidelined by debilitating back pain, and he collapsed of dehydration while doing a show in Canada, but it is unclear whether these were contributing factors to his death.
Meat Loaf’s most famous achievement is arguably his record-smashing album Bat Out of Hell, one of the top-selling recordings ever, with tens of millions of sales worldwide. Two single tracks went platinum: “Two of Three Ain’t Bad” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” the latter a duet with Ellen Foley.
The album was written and produced by Jim Steinman, with whom the singer collaborated in 1993 on the Grammy-winning Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell. The lead single on that effort, “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” became his biggest hit, reaching the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. Two years later, his Welcome to \ the Neighborhood also became a platinum seller.
In addition to his appearance in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where he famously sang “Hot Patootie,” Meat Loaf appeared in several other films, including Fight Club, Motorama, Crazy in Alabama, Stage Fright, Spice World, Leap of Faith, and Americathon.
Meat Loaf’s passing lit up the Twittersphere with tributes from celebrities and fans alike. Cher tweeted: “Had So Much Fun With Meatloaf When We Did ‘Dead Ringer.’ Am Very Sorry For His Family, Friends, & Fans. Am I imagining It, or Are Amazing Ppl In The Arts Dying every other Day.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber chimed in by saying: “The vaults of heaven will be ringing with rock. RIP meatloaf. Give my regards to Jim. – ALW.”
Another star from the glamiverse, Boy George, reminisced about an encounter with the iconic singer in London: “R.I.P Meatloaf. Love and prayers to all his family and close friends. He once turned me upside down in a Chinese Restaurant in St Johns Wood.”
And TV personality Piers Morgan was quoted as saying: “RIP Meat Loaf, 74. One of rock music’s all-time great characters whose seminal iconic album Bat Out of Hell is one of the biggest-selling records in history. A wondrously talented, flamboyant, funny, outrageous and rebellious chameleon. Sad news.”