Many rock fans, including me, are still mourning the death of Meat Loaf.
I always enjoyed his music, but I never knew to what extent until I learned he had passed.
Considered one of the greatest rock singers of all time, with a fantastic career spanning over six decades that saw him sell over 100 million albums worldwide, Meat Loaf’s death came as a shock for many of us.
He died on January 20, 2022, at the age of 74, surrounded by loved ones.
According to TMZ, the Texas-born megastar died from Covid complications, adding that sources said the singer had canceled a dinner shortly before his death because he was “seriously ill” with the virus. However, it’s unclear if his bout with coronavirus is directly responsible for his death, as no official cause of death has been released.
Born Marvin Lee Aday in 1947 and later changing his name to Michael Lee Aday, he sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. His first “Bat out of Hell” album, released in 1977, stayed in the charts for over nine years.
Meat Loaf also appeared in over 65 movies, including Fight Club, Rocky Horror Picture Show and Wayne’s World. He often starred as himself or as characters resembling his stage persona.
The Grammy Award-winning musician and singer left behind his wife, Deborah Gillespie and two daughters.
“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,” the official Facebook statement regarding his death reads. “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!”
Meat Loaf married Deborah in 2007, she was his second wife but managed to stay out of the spotlight.
Known as a wild man, Meat Loaf got plenty of scrapes and suffered countless injuries on and off stage, he referred to himself as a “cat with 48” lives, per Grunge magazine.
Before Meat Loaf’s death, he had given a number of interviews describing the heady days of touring and even included details of a number of shocking near-death experiences.
The singer said he had previously fallen three stories, suffered 18 concussions, experienced eight car crashes, and needed multiple knee replacements.
He was even involved in an emergency crash landing on a plane in October 2006. Essex Live reported the plane’s forward landing gear failed.
Meat Loaf also said “a 12-pound shot put” hit him in the head from 62 feet away and dented his skull, as per a 2018 interview with Rolling Stone. According to the star, the hit to the head improved his vocal range and didn’t damage him.
Later in life, Meat Loaf underwent four surgeries for his back problems. The Sun reports he told fans the back pain would “bring you to your knees.”
The singer also claimed his father attacked him with a butcher’s knife. His father was a former police officer who then started a business selling a homemade cough remedy. He was also an abusive alcoholic, which meant not only did the star endure relentless bullying at school due to his size, but he went home to an unpredictable parent, as per his memoir “Meatloaf: To Hell and Back.”
His beloved mother Wilma Artie, a school teacher and member of the Vo-di-o-do Girls gospel music quartet died from cancer when Meat Loaf was 19 years old.
Shortly after her death, his father attacked him with a butcher’s knife while he was in bed, accusing him of having girls, which he didn’t. He rolled off the bed just in time as his father plunged the knife into the mattress, according to The Guardian.
“I fought for my life. Apparently, I broke three ribs and his nose, and left the house barefoot in a pair of gym shorts and a T-shirt,” he said.
Meat Loaf reportedly used the money his mother had left him and moved to Los Angeles in 1967. He never looked back on his home life in Texas.
This man overcame so many odds, so many obstacles, and so many demons during his rise to fame.
He will be forever remembered as a legendary rock star who brought his unique style to whatever he did.
Rest in peace.