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Bat Out Of Hell Singer And Fight Club Actor Meat Loaf Is Dead At 74

Meat Loaf in David Fincher's Fight Club 1999.
(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Meat Loaf, the prolific singer behind such best-selling tracks as "Bat Out of Hell" and "I'D Do Anything For Love," as well as an actor in his own right, has died. News broke via social media in the early hours of Friday morning. The singer, songwriter, and actor was 74 years of age at the time of his death. 

At the time of this writing, no cause of death was given, but in the time since there has been an update. Reports breaking this morning have noted that Meat Loaf, also known as Marvin Lee Aday, died following a battle with COVID-19. Per TMZ, the singer's condition had gotten critical quickly, as he had originally had a business dinner planned earlier in the week. The singer's manager, Michael Green, also told the outlet that Meat Loaf had passed away Thursday night, with the news breaking hours later. 

An official message posted to Meat Loaf's Facebook page did note the singer was with his family at the time of his passing. Per the announcement: 

Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight surrounded by his wife Deborah, daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends. His amazing career spanned 6 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.

Though known in the acting side of the business for memorable roles in the cast of Fight Club and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Meat Loaf had a long and prolific acting career. He most recently appeared in the 2017-2018 TV series Ghost Wars, and had parts in episodes of Elementary, Glee, House, Tales from the Crypt, Nash Bridges and many, many more. On the big screen he appeared in a wide variety of movies, from the two aforementioned roles to stuff like Spice World, Wayne's World, and The Salton Sea. And let's not forget his epic cameo in Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny.

The Rocky Horror Picture role would be the one to cement his name in cinema history, and it came early in his acting career. In the 1975 film, and the live stage show on Broadway, the singer played Eddie, who's known for his motorcycle during the course of the events in the film. Later, Eddie would be served for dinner in the ... meat loaf. Meat Loaf spoke out on Rocky Horror's time in the pop culture limelight years ago, noting,

It became that people came back, and back again. It's like you take somebody like Carole King... well Carole King came several times and at the end she started to dress like Magenta I think. And Keith Moon, the drummer who died from The Who, would come and he got into this thing where if he was in the audience that night, there were nine people in the cast and there would be nine bottles of champagne lined up across the front of the stage. You'd go, 'Oh, Keith Moon's here.' Elvis Presley came... So, there were a lot of things [that] happened and you met a lot of people.

The movie would spawn a long and prolific career on that side of the industry, though Meat Loaf's success on the musical side of things is even more impressive. Bat Out of Hell the album became one of the best-selling of all time, pushing more than 43 million copies since its release in 1977. It's also ranked on Rolling's Stone's original list of Greatest Albums of all Time

Clearly Meat Loaf has many fans to this day -- Tom Cruise once even lip synced a popular track by the singer during an episode of The Tonight Show -- and the official statement on his page notes those who kept tabs on the singer over his many years in the spotlight. The statement shares love, but also touches on the family's privacy during this 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!

Meat Loaf was preceded in death by his longtime collaborator Jim Steinman, who died at 73 in April of last year. 

Jessica Rawden
Jessica Rawden

Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.