Meat Loaf, the heavyweight rock superstar loved by millions for his "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. He was 74.
The singer-songwriter-actor, born Marvin Lee Aday, died Thursday, according to a family statement on his Facebook page. In addition, CBS News confirmed his death with his longtime agent, Michael Greene.
"Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight," the statement said.
"His amazing career spanned six 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," the statement continues. … "From his heart to your souls…don't ever stop rocking!"
No cause or other details were given, but Aday had numerous health scares over the years.
"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.
Fans fell hard for the roaring vocals of the long-haired, 250-plus pound singer and for the comic non-romance of the title track as well as "You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth," "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" and "Paradise By the Dashboard Light."
After a slow start and mixed reviews, "Bat Out of a Hell" became one of the top-selling albums in history, with worldwide sales of more than 40 million copies.
Meat Loaf wasn't a consistent hit maker, especially after falling out for years with Steinman. But he maintained close ties with his fans through his manic live shows, social media and his many television, radio and film appearances, including "Fight Club" and cameos on "Glee" and "South Park."
Friends and fans reacted to the death on social media.
"I hope paradise is as you remember it from the dashboard light, Meat Loaf," actor Stephen Fry said on Twitter. "Had a fun time performing a sketch with him on Saturday Live way back in the last century. He had the quality of being simultaneously frightening and cuddly."
According to the Reuters news service, British producer Pete Waterman said, "It was his voice – you knew what you got with Meat Loaf. It was 100 per cent of everything."
Meat Loaf's biggest musical success after "Bat Out of Hell" was "Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell," a 1993 reunion with Steinman that sold more than 15 million copies and featured the Grammy-winning single "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)."
Steinman died in April.
A native of Dallas, Aday was the son of a school teacher who raised him on her own after divorcing his alcoholic father, a police officer.
He was still a teenager when his mother died and when he acquired the nickname Meat Loaf, the alleged origins of which range from his weight to a favorite recipe of his mother's.
He is survived by Deborah Gillespie, his wife since 2007, and by daughters Pearl and Amanda Aday.
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