US singer and actor Meat Loaf - real name Marvin Lee Aday - whose Bat Out Of Hell album remains one of the best-selling of all time, has died at the age of 74, it’s been confirmed.
A statement on the star’s Facebook page reads: “Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side. Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours.
“His amazing career spanned six decades that saw him sell over 100 Million albums worldwide and star in over 65 movies, including Fight Club, Focus, Rocky Horror Picture Show and “Wayne’s World.
“Bat Out of Hell remains one of the top 10 selling albums of all time.
“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.
“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!”
Born Marvin Lee Aday in Dallas, Texas in 1947, Meat Loaf's first tasted success in musical theatre, starring in Hair, understudying John Belushi in National Lampoon's Lemmings show, and joining the original LA cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, ultimately taking on the role of Eddie in the 1975 movie.
His recording career was already underway however. His debut was as one half of Stoney and Meatloaf (one word). The album – a collaboration with singer Shaun "Stoney" Murphy, was released on Motown subsidiary Rare Earth. In 1976, he sang five of the tracks on Ted Nugent's album Free-for-All.
But Bat Out Of Hell was his true debut. A classic sleeper hit, the album didn't reall land until six months after its release when the Old Grey Whistle Test aired a flive performance of the nine-minute title track.
Eventually every track on the album became a hit single and the album became a phenomenon. It was also the most profitable release in history, beating even Michael Jackson's Thriller, which had cost ten times as much to make.
Today, Bat out of Hell is the world's third best-selling album, with an estimated 50m sales. It spent over 500 weeks in the UK album charts, and is one of the biggest-selling albums to never reach the number one spot.
In all, Meat Loaf released 12 albums in his lifetime and also starred in over 40 movies, but his workrate was occasionally undermined by ill health. He fractured a leg performing in Ottawa in 1978, collapsed onstage in 2003, 2011 and 2016, and broke a collarbone falling offstage at a horror convention in 2019.
He also underwent emergency surgery after a pinched nerve caused him to suffer spinal fusion.
No cause of death has been announced.