10 Things You Didn’t Know About Legendary Singer & Actor Meat Loaf (1947 – 2022)

Meat Loaf, the larger-than-life superstar loved by millions for his rock opera “Bat Out of Hell” album and for such theatrical, dark-hearted anthems as “Paradise By the Dashboard Light,” “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” and “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” has died at the age 74, according to a statement on his verified Facebook page. He was 74.

“Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side,” the statement said. “Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours…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… From his heart to your souls… don’t ever stop rocking!”

Meat Loaf sold 100 million albums worldwide and also appeared in movies like The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Wayne’s World (1992), Spiceworld: The Movie (1997) and Fight Club (1999). He also performed in the musical Hair, both on and off-Broadway.

In celebration of the life of the legendary singer and actor, here’s ten things that you might not have known about Meat Loaf.

1. Meat Loaf was born Marvin Lee Aday in Dallas, Texas, on September 27, 1947. He got his nickname from two different people. Meat came from his dad who said he looked as red as meat at birth. Loaf came from his high school football coach who called him “loaf” because of his weight.

2. Meat Loaf was so determined to avoid being enrolled into the army that he deliberately put on 68Ibs in a month in an attempt to fail a medical. The army still passed him fit and sent him his draft notice two weeks later, but the singer simply chose to ignore it.

3. Bat Out of Hell, his mega-selling collaboration with songwriter Jim Steinman and producer Todd Rundgren, came out in 1977 and made him one of the most recognizable performers in rock. After a slow start and mixed reviews, the album became one of the top-selling albums in history producing several hits including “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” with worldwide sales of more than 65 million copies. In fact, it still sells an estimated 200,000 copies a year.

4. Despite the massive sales contractual problems meant that Meat Loaf received no royalties from Bat Out Of Hell for years, which forced him to eventually declare bankruptcy. In one interview, he confessed he was so angered by the situation at the time that he would pull copies of the CD off record store shelves and smash them under his feet to make sure no-one else got paid, either.

5. But his career rebounded in the 1990s when he teamed up again with Steinman for Bat Out Of Hell II, producing the high-camp “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That),” which spent weeks at number one around the globe.

6. The seven minute long music video for “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” was inspired by Beauty and The Beast and The Phantom Of The Opera and has gone on to become a cult classic. The song also won him his only Grammy Award, which he took home in 1993 for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance.

7. Meat Loaf made his silver screen debut in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but his first role was nearly something very different. According to Meat Loaf, he was meant to play Billy Bibbit in the 1975 film adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The role of Bibbit ultimately went to Brad Dourif, who went on to win a BAFTA and Golden Globe for his sensitive performance.

“I was originally cast in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest as Billy Bibbit, but there was a writer’s strike and I ended up doing The Rocky Horror Show instead,” the singer told Shortlist.

8. Despite his stage name, Meat Loaf was a vegetarian from 1981 to 1992. In 2019, he tried becoming a vegan. He once said, “There have been vegetarians who wouldn’t speak to me because of my name.” In fact, he was a big fan of singer k.d. lang and wanted to meet her but he says she refused because of his name.

9. Meat Loaf had his battles with illness and injuries over the years. In 1978, he broke his leg jumping off a stage in Ottawa, Canada, finishing his tour performing in a wheelchair. He also fainted on stage while performing in Pittsburgh in 2011 and then collapsed on stage during a concert in Canada in 2016. Three years later, the star broke his collar bone falling off an interview stage at a convention in Texas.

10. Meat Loaf acknowledged physical problems throughout the years had affected his ability to perform. But in November 2021, he posted on Facebook that he’d had four back surgeries and would be back in the studio in the new year.

“The back surgeries hurt everything. Before the back surgeries I was still trying to do shows, that’s when some of you saw or heard of me collapsing on stage and finally stopping the tour in the UK. I couldn’t hit high notes because of back pain. Not a slight back pain. Pain that would bring you to your knees,” he wrote.

Tags: Meat Loaf, RIP, Things You Didn't Know About

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