Michael Lee Aday (born Marvin Lee Aday, September 27, 1947 – January 20, 2022), better known as Meat Loaf, is an American singer and actor. He is noted for his powerful, wide-ranging voice and theatrical live shows. 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—has sold more than 65 million albums worldwide. More than four decades after its release, the first album still sells an estimated 200,000 copies annually and stayed on the charts for over nine years, making it one of the best-selling albums in history.
After the commercial success of Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, and earning a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for the song “I’d Do Anything for Love”, Meat Loaf nevertheless experienced some difficulty establishing a steady career within the United States. This did not stop him from becoming one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with worldwide sales of more than 80 million records. The key to this success was his retention of iconic status and popularity in Europe, especially the United Kingdom, where he received the 1994 Brit Award for best-selling album and single, appeared in the 1997 film Spice World, and ranks 23rd for the number of weeks spent on the UK charts, as of 2006. He ranks 96th on VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock”.
Sometimes credited as Meat Loaf Aday, he has also appeared in over 50 movies and television shows, sometimes as himself or as characters resembling his stage persona. His most notable film roles include Eddie in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), and Robert “Bob” Paulson in Fight Club (1999). His early stage work included dual roles in the original cast of The Rocky Horror Show, and he was also in the musical Hair, both on- and off-Broadway.
Meat Loaf died in Nashville, Tennessee, on the evening of January 20, 2022, at the age of 74. No official cause of death was released. He was reportedly ill with COVID-19 earlier in January and reporting by TMZ suggested that he died from COVID-19 complications. After his health rapidly declined, his two daughters rushed to see him in the hospital with his wife being beside him as he died. His daughter had posted to Instagram in early January that: “We are not sick, but we have too many friends and family testing positive [for COVID-19] right now, positive but doing OK”. Notable people that posted tributes included Bonnie Tyler, Cher, Brian May, Boy George, Piers Morgan, Travis Tritt, Marlee Matlin, Stephen Fry, his Rocky Horror co-star Nell Campbell and Donald Trump. The Queen’s Guard performed a rendition of “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)”.