Incomparable rock star Meat Loaf, whose 1977 debut “Bat Out of Hell” remains one of the best-selling albums of all time, has died, his family said in a statement released Friday.
Delivering epic anthems about love, lust and motorcycles – including his near ten-minute long opus, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” – Meat Loaf performed with an intensity bordering on melodrama to become an enduring, and sometimes bombastic, pop culture fixture.
The range of celebrities and their reactions to his death reflect all that he embodied… with Boy George tweeting, “RIP Meat Loaf…. He once turned me upside down in a Chinese restaurant.”
British actor Stephen Fry wrote, “he had the quality of being simultaneously frightening and cuddly, which is rare and rather wonderful…”
Cher, who duetted with Meat Loaf on 1981’s “Dead Ringer for Love,” said she had so much fun making the record.
And composer Andrew Lloyd Weber even weighed in with, “The vaults of heaven will be ringing with rock….”
Born Marvin Lee Aday, and also known as Michael, Meat Loaf sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
He toured extensively in the 1980s, but chart success eluded him until 1993’s sequel “Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell” produced the hit single, “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).”
He also acted in films “The Rocky Horror Show” and “Fight Club.”
Meat Loaf died with his wife by his side, and had been with his daughters in his final hours, the family said. No cause of death was immediately disclosed.
Meat Loaf was 74.