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Meat Loaf, the 'Bat Out of Hell’ rock star, has died at 74

NEW YORK (AP), -- Meat Loaf has died. He was a rock star who was loved by millions for his album "Bat Out of Hell" and for songs such as "Paradise By the Dashboard Light," and "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" and "I'd do Anything for Love (But It Won't Do That),". He was 74.

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Meat Loaf, the 'Bat Out of Hell’ rock star, has died at 74

According to Michael Greene, his longtime agent, the singer Marvin Lee Aday has died on Thursday.

The statement stated that "Our hearts are broken to inform you that the incomparable Meat Loaf has passed away tonight." We know how much he meant so many of you, and we are truly grateful for all of your support and love as we go through this difficult time.

Although no cause was given, Aday has had many health problems over the years.

His mega-selling collaboration with Jim Steinman and Todd Rundgren was "Bat Out of Hell" and made him one of rock's most well-known performers.

The roaring vocals of the 250-plus-pound, long-haired singer were a hit with fans. Also, the humorous non-romance of the title song, "You Took The Words Straight Out of My Mouth," and "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad," which was an operatic warning about not going all the way, won them over.

"Paradise," a duet performed with Ellen Foley, featured play-by-play commentary from Phil Rizzuto (New York Yankees broadcaster), who claimed -- to much skepticism - that he didn't know of any alternative meanings for reaching third base and heading home.

"Bat Out of Hell" was a slow album that received mixed reviews. It became one of the most popular albums of all time, selling more than 40,000,000 copies worldwide. Meat Loaf was not a consistent hitmaker, especially after years of falling out with Steinman. He maintained close relationships with his fans though his live shows, social media, and many television, radio, and film appearances (including "Fight Club", cameos on "Glee", and "South Park").

Fans and friends mourned his passing via social media. Stephen Fry, actor and comedian tweeted: "I hope paradise remains as you remember from the dashboard light Meat Loaf." Andrew Lloyd Webber tweeted "The vaults will ring with rock," Adam Lambert called Meat Loaf "A gentle, heartfelt powerhouse rock star for ever and ever." Thank you so much. Your music will be forever a part of our collective memory.

Meat Loaf's greatest musical success, after "Bat Out of Hell", was "Bat Out of Hell II : Back into Hell," a 1993 reunion with Steinman. It sold over 15 million copies.

Steinman died in April.

Aday also released "Bat Out of Hell III The Monster is Loose", "Hell in a Handbasket", and "Braver than We Are."

Aday, a Dallas native, was the son of a teacher, who raised him alone after she divorced his father, an alcoholic police officer. Aday enjoyed acting and singing in high school. Mick Jagger and Ethel Merman were both early favorites. He also attended Lubbock Christian College, which is now the University of North Texas. One of his most memorable childhood memories is seeing John F. Kennedy arrive in Dallas at Love Field on Nov. 22, 1963. Then, he learned that the president had been assassinated. He then drove to Parkland Hospital, where he saw a bleeding Jackie Kennedy get out of a car.

When his mother died, he was still a teenager. This is when he got the nickname Meat Loaf. The alleged origins of the name range from his weight to his mother's favorite recipe. After college, he moved to Los Angeles and soon formed the Meat Loaf Soul band. He alternated between music, stage and recording for many years. He opened for the Who and Grateful Dead, recorded briefly for Motown and appeared in "Hair" on Broadway.

He was already playing the role of the lobotomized motorcycler Eddie in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" theater productions. In the late 1970s, he had also been working with Steinman on "Bat Out of Hell." His bandmates Roy Bittan (and Max Weinberg) were involved in the production. Rundgren originally considered the album a parody on Springsteen's extravagant style.

Steinman knew Meat Loaf from 1973 when the singer performed in "More Than You Deserve." Some of the songs on "Bat Out of Hell," such as "All Revved up With No Place to Go," were originally written for a stage production based on Peter Pan's story. It took "Bat Out of Hell," which was rejected by many record executives, more than two years, to be signed. Clive Davis, RCA's chief executive, wrote that the songs came across as theatrical and Meat Loaf didn't seem like a star.

Steve Van Zandt was a Springsteen sideman. Cleveland International, a subsidiary of Epic Records, acquired "Bat Out of Hell". The album was not well-received until months later, when a concert clip of the title song was broadcast on the British television program Old Grey Whistle Test. His connection to "Rocky Horror", in the U.S., helped him convince Lou Adler to use a clip for "Paradise By the Dashboard Light” as a trailer to the cult film. Meat Loaf, who was then a relatively unknown artist, began his "Bat Out of Hell” tour in Chicago to open for Cheap Trick.

"I recall pulling up to the theater and seeing it say, 'TONIGHT CHEAP TRICK WITH MEAT LOAF'. And I thought, 'These people think that we're serving dinner.'" Meat Loaf explained this in 2013 on "In the Studio," a syndicated radio program.

"And we walk out onto the stage, and these people were such Cheap Trick lovers they booed me from the beginning. They were getting up and giving the finger. The first six rows stood and screamed. ... We were almost receiving applause when we finished.

Deborah Gillespie, his spouse since 2007, and Pearl and Amanda Aday are his survivors.

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