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'The vaults of heaven will be ringing with rock': Tributes paid to Meat Loaf who has died aged 74

His family confirmed the news, saying: “Our hearts are broken.”

Meat Loaf during his 'Very Best Of Tour' in concert at Wembley Arena in London in 1999.
Meat Loaf during his 'Very Best Of Tour' in concert at Wembley Arena in London in 1999.
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

THE SINGER AND actor Meat Loaf has died at the age of 74.

In a statement issued this morning, his family confirmed the news.

“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 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.

“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!”

The entertainer was born Marvin Lee Aday but at times used the name Michael. He sold millions of albums worldwide, with the Bat Out Of Hell trilogy among his most popular musical offerings.

American singer Cher and theatre boss Andrew Lloyd Webber were among those paying tribute following news of his death.

Cher tweeted that she had “so much fun” when she worked with him on his 1981 album Dead Ringer.

Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote: “The vaults of heaven will be ringing with rock. RIP Meatloaf. Give my best to Jim”, referring to Jim Steinman, who died last year.

Bat Out of Hell: The Musical announced that Friday night’s show at the New Wimbledon Theatre will be performed in his memory.

A statement said: “The company of Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical here in the UK is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of their great friend and producer, Meat Loaf.

“He was with us when the show first launched in London at the Coliseum and in Manchester at the Opera House back in 2016 and then came to the show at the Dominion Theatre in London on 25 July 2018.”

It added: “The beat is yours forever.”

Stephen Fry also paid tribute to Meat Loaf, sharing a comedy sketch that the paid performed together on Saturday Live in the 1980s.

He said he “had the quality of being simultaneously frightening and cuddly, which is rare and rather wonderful”. 

Queen’s Brian May said he is “completely gutted” that the singer “has left us”.

‘The world is mourning’

Alongside a picture of himself and Meat Loaf on Instagram, May wrote: “Remembering great times. Completely gutted that Meat Loaf has left us. Always full of madness, with the innocent sense of naughtiness of a 5-year old, Meat was forever young.

“I called him Mr Loaf, and he called me when he wanted some wacky guitar playing. We had so much fun so many times, and, just three months younger than me, he felt like a brother. Dear Meat, the world is mourning and will miss your fine and powerful presence for a very long time. RIP. Bri.”

Singer Boy George shared his own memories of Meat Loaf on Twitter, posting: “R.I.P Meatloaf. Love and prayers to all his family and close friends.

“He once turned me upside down in a Chinese Restaurant in St Johns Wood.”

Imelda May shared a black and white photo of herself with Meat Loaf.

She captioned the Twitter post: “Meatloaf has passed. I’m so lucky I got to know, sing and laugh with such a wildly talented, charismatic, big hearted, supportive, high spirited and wonderful man.

“I’ll really miss you pal. #RIPMeatLoaf.

“My love to Deborah, his daughters and right hand man @PaulCrookMusic.”

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Slash, the lead guitarist of rock band Guns N’ Roses, posted a photo on Instagram of Meat Loaf performing and captioned it: “RIP #Meatloaf.”

Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini, who was a close friend of Meat Loaf, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain (GMB) that his death was “crushing”.

He added: “He actually played with us on our Regent’s Park softball club and I did introduce one of his albums at a launch and also he, believe it or not, coached baseball in my hometown of Westport, Connecticut.

“So this is someone who I really was fond of personally and his life story was so extraordinary.

“This was a person who was a normal person, who became this world megastar. It’s not supposed to happen, but it did happen.”

Bat Out of Hell

Written and produced by Jim Steinman, Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell is among the best-selling albums in US history, selling over 40 million copies.

His hit single I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) reached number one in 28 countries and earned him a Grammy award.

The rocker also played the role of Eddie in the 1975 musical film The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and in 2016 was honoured with the Hero Award at the annual Q Awards music ceremony, which he dedicated to everyday heroes and called on people to “bring love back into this world”.

His career spanned more than just music, with the musician also featured in a string of films including 1999’s Fight Club and 1992’s Wayne’s World.

Bat Out Of Hell was also adapted as a stage musical, which was written by long-time collaborator Jim Steinman and featured some of the musician’s best-loved hits.

Meat Loaf had spoken openly about health issues that had plagued him, notably asthma, which caused him to collapse on stage during a concert in Pittsburgh in 2011, and in 2003 he collapsed at Wembley Arena in London and was admitted to hospital.

Contains reporting from PA

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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