Michael Lee Aday (born Marvin Lee Aday; September 27, 1947 - January 20, 2022), better known by his stage name Meat Loaf, was an American singer and actor. He was noted for his powerful, wide-ranging voice and theatrical live shows. He is on the list of best-selling music artists. His Bat Out of Hell trilogy of albums (consisting of Bat Out of Hell, Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, and Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose) has sold more than 65 million copies worldwide. More than 40 years after its release, Bat Out of Hell still sells an estimated 200,000 copies annually and stayed on the charts for over nine years, making it one of the best selling albums in history.
After the commercial success of Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell and earning a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for the song "I'd Do Anything for Love", Meat Loaf experienced some initial difficulty establishing a steady career within the United States. However, he has retained iconic status and popularity in Europe, especially the United Kingdom, where he received the 1994 Brit Award for best-selling album and single, appeared in the 1997 film Spice World, and ranks 23rd for the number of weeks spent on the UK charts as of 2006. He ranked 96th on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock".
He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, He has also appeared in more than 50 movies and television shows, sometimes as himself or as characters resembling his stage person. His most notable roles include Eddie in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Robert "Bob" Paulson in Fight Club (1999), and "The Lizard" in The 51st State (2002). He has also appeared as a guest actor in television shows such as Monk, Glee, South Park, House, and Tales from the Crypt. His early stage work included dual roles in the original Broadway theatre cast of The Rocky Horror Show. He also appeared in the musical Hair, both on and Off-Broadway.
Marvin Lee Aday was born in Dallas, Texas, the only child of Wilma Artie (née Hukel), a school teacher and a member of the Vo-di-o-do Girls gospel quartet, and Orvis Wesley Aday, a police officer. His father was an alcoholic who would go on drinking binges for days at a time. Aday and his mother would drive around to all the bars in Dallas, looking for Orvis to take him home. As a result, Marvin often stayed with his grandmother, Charlsee Norrod. Meat Loaf relates a story in his autobiography, To Hell and Back, about how he, a friend, and his friend's father drove out to Love Field on November 22, 1963 to watch John F. Kennedy land.
After watching him leave the airport, they went to Market Hall, which was on Kennedy's parade route. On the way, they heard that Kennedy had been shot, so they headed to Parkland Hospital, where they saw Jackie Kennedy get out of the car and Governor
John Connally get pulled out, although they did not see the president taken out.
In 1965, he graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School, having already started his acting career via school productions such as Where's Charley? and The Music Man. After attending college at Lubbock Christian College, he transferred to North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas). After he received his inheritance from his mother's death, he rented an apartment in Dallas and isolated himself for three and a half months. Eventually, a friend found him. A short time later, Marvin Aday went to the airport and caught the next flight leaving. The plane took him to Los Angeles.
In Los Angeles, Marvin Aday formed his first band, "Meat Loaf Soul", after a nickname coined by his football coach due to his weight. During the recording of their first song, he hit a note so high that he managed to blow a fuse on the recording monitor. He was immediately offered three recording contracts, which he turned down. Meat Loaf Soul's first gig was in Huntington Beach at the Cave, opening for Van Morrison's band, Them. While performing their cover of the Howlin' Wolf song "Smokestack Lightning", the smoke machine they used made too much smoke and the club had to be cleared out. Later, the band was the opening act at Cal State Northridge for Renaissance, Taj Mahal and Janis Joplin.
The band then underwent several changes of lead guitar, changing the name of the band each time. The new names included Popcorn Blizzard and Floating Circus. As Floating Circus, they opened for The Who, The Fugs, The Stooges, MC5, Grateful Dead and the Grease Band. Their regional success led them to release a single, "Once Upon a Time", backed with "Hello". Then Meat Loaf joined the Los Angeles production of Hair.
During an interview with New Zealand radio station ZM, Meat Loaf stated that the biggest life struggle he had to overcome was not being taken seriously in the music industry. He compared his treatment to that of a "circus clown".
Stoney & Meat Loaf (1971)
With the publicity generated from Hair, Meat Loaf was invited to record with Motown. They suggested he did a duet with Shaun "Stoney" Murphy, who had performed with him in Hair, to which he agreed. The Motown production team in charge of the album wrote and selected the songs while Meat Loaf and Stoney came in only to lay down their vocals.
The album, titled Stoney & Meatloaf (sic, Meatloaf as one word), was completed in the summer of 1971 and released in September of that year. A single released in advance of the album, "What You See Is What You Get", reached number thirty-six on the Best Selling Soul Singles chart (the same chart is now titled Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs) and seventy-one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. To support their album, Meat Loaf and Stoney toured with Jake Wade and the Soul Searchers, opening up for Richie Havens, The Who, The Stooges,
Bob Seger, Alice Cooper and Rare Earth. Meat Loaf left soon after Motown replaced his and Stoney's vocals from the one song he liked, "Who Is the Leader of the People?" with new vocals by Edwin Starr. The album has been re-released after Meat Loaf's success, with Stoney's vocals removed. Meat Loaf's version of "Who Is the Leader of the People?" was released, but the album failed.
More Than You Deserve (1973)
After the tour, Meat Loaf rejoined the cast of Hair, this time on Broadway. After he hired an agent, he auditioned for the Public Theater's production of More Than You Deserve. During the audition Meat Loaf met his future collaborator Jim Steinman. He sang a former Stoney and Meatloaf favorite of his, "(I'd Love to Be) As Heavy as Jesus", and subsequently got the part of Rabbit, a maniac that blows up his fellow soldiers so they can "go home."
Ron Silver and Fred Gwynne were also in the show. After it closed, he appeared in As You Like It with Raúl Juliá and Mary Beth Hurt. He recorded a single of "More Than You Deserve", with a cover of "Presence of the Lord" as the B-side. He was only able to save three copies of it, because the record company did not allow its release. With those three copies he released many CDs featuring the two songs.
He recorded it again (1981) in a slightly rougher voice. The original single came out on RSO SO-407 with some promotional copies bearing both songs, while some were double-A side copies with "More Than You Deserve" in mono and stereo on them.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1974)
During the winter of 1973, after returning from a short production of Rainbow in New York in Washington, D.C., Meat Loaf was cast in The Rocky Horror Show, playing the parts of Eddie and Dr. Everett Scott. The success of the musical led to the filming of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in which Meat Loaf played only Eddie, a decision he said made the movie not as good as the musical. About the same time, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman
started work on Bat Out of Hell. Meat Loaf convinced Epic Records to shoot videos for four songs, "Bat Out of Hell", "Paradise by the Dashboard Light", "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth", and "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad". He then convinced Lou Adler, the producer of Rocky Horror, to run the "Paradise" video as a trailer to the movie. Meat Loaf's final show in New York was Gower Champion's Rockabye Hamlet, a Hamlet musical. It closed two weeks into its initial run. Meat Loaf later returned occasionally to perform
During his recording of the soundtrack for Rocky Horror, Meat Loaf recorded two more songs: "Stand by Me" (a Ben E. King cover), and "Clap Your Hands". They remained unreleased until 1984, when they appeared as B-sides to the "Nowhere Fast" single.
In 1976, Meat Loaf recorded lead vocals for Ted Nugent's album Free-for-All when regular Ted Nugent lead vocalist Derek St. Holmes temporarily quit the band. Meat Loaf sang lead on five of the album's nine tracks. As on the Stoney & Meatloaf album, he was credited as Meatloaf (one word) on the "Free-for-All" liner notes.
Bat Out of Hell (1977)
Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman started Bat Out of Hell in 1972, but did not get serious about it until the end of 1974. Meat Loaf decided to leave theatre, and concentrate exclusively on music. Then, the National Lampoon Show opened on Broadway, and it needed an understudy for John Belushi, a close friend of Meat Loaf since 1972. It was at the Lampoon Show that Meat Loaf met Ellen Foley, the co-star who sang
"Paradise by the Dashboard Light" with him on the album Bat Out of Hell. Karla Devito took that part on the video. After the Lampoon show ended, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman spent time seeking a record deal. Their approaches were rejected by each record company, because their songs did not fit any specific recognized music industry style. Finally, they performed the songs for Todd Rundgren, who decided to produce the album, as well as play lead guitar on it
(other members of Todd Rundgren's band Utopia also lent their musical talents). They then shopped the record around, but still had no takers until Cleveland International Records decided to take a chance. In October 1977, Bat Out of Hell was finally released.
Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman formed the band The Neverland Express to tour in support of Bat Out of Hell. Their first gig was opening for Cheap Trick in Chicago. He gained national exposure as musical guest on Saturday Night Live on March 25, 1978. Guest host Christopher Lee introduced him by saying, "And now ladies and gentlemen I would like you to meet Loaf. (pauses, looks dumbfounded) I beg your pardon, what? (he listens to the director's aside) Oh! Why...why I'm sorry, yes, of course...ah... Ladies and gentlemen, Meat Loaf!"
Bat Out of Hell has sold an estimated 43 million copies globally (15 million of those in the United States), making it one of the highest selling albums of all time. In the United Kingdom, alone, its 2.1 million sales put it in 38th place. Despite peaking at No. 9 and spending only two weeks in the top ten in 1981, it has now clocked up 485 weeks on the UK Albums Chart (May 2015), a figure bettered only by Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, 487 weeks. In Australia, it knocked the Bee Gees off the number No. 1 spot and went on to become the biggest-selling Australian album of all time for several years. It is now second on the list. Bat Out of Hell is also one of only two albums that has never exited the Top 200 in the UK charts; this makes it the longest stay in any music chart in the world, although the published chart contains just 75 positions.
Bad For Good and Dead Ringer (1981)
In 1976, Meat Loaf appeared in the short-lived Broadway production of the rock musical Rockabye Hamlet.
Jim Steinman started to work on Bad for Good, the album that was supposed to be the follow-up to 1977's Bat out of Hell, in 1979. During that time, a combination of touring, drugs and exhaustion had caused Meat Loaf to lose his voice.
Without a singer, and pressured by the record company, Jim Steinman decided that he should sing on Bad for Good himself, and write a new album for Meat Loaf; the result was Dead Ringer, which was later released in 1981, after the release of Jim Steinman's Bad for Good.
After playing the role of Travis Redfish in the movie Roadie, Meat Loaf's singing voice returned, and he started to work on his new album in 1980. Jim Steinman had written five new songs which, in addition to the track "More Than You Deserve" (sung by Meat Loaf in the stage musical of the same name) and a reworked monologue, formed the album Dead Ringer, which was produced by Meat Loaf and Stephan Galfas, with backing tracks produced by Todd Rundgren, Jimmy Iovine, and Jim Steinman. (In 1976, Meat Loaf appeared on the track "Keeper Keep Us", from the Intergalactic Touring Band's self-titled album, produced by Galfas.) The song "Dead Ringer for Love" was the pinnacle of the album, and launched Meat Loaf to even greater success after it reached No. 5 in the United Kingdom and stayed in the charts for a surprising 19 weeks. Cher provided the lead female vocals in the song.
A comedy/documentary movie was filmed to accompany the release of "Dead Ringer", written and produced by Meat Loaf's managers David Sonenberg and Al Dellentash. It featured Meat Loaf playing two roles: himself, and a Meat Loaf fan, 'Marvin'. Sonenberg persuaded CBS to advance money for the making of the movie, which was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival and won some favorable reviews.
Midnight at the Lost and Found (1983)
Following a dispute with his former songwriter Jim Steinman, Meat Loaf was contractually obliged to release a new album. Struggling for time, and with, it seemed, no resolution to his arguments with Jim Steinman on the horizon (eventually they sued each other), he was forced to find songwriters wherever he could. The resulting album was Midnight at the Lost and Found.
According to Meat Loaf, Jim Steinman had given the songs "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "Making Love Out of Nothing at All" to Meat Loaf for this album. However, Meat Loaf's record company refused to pay for Jim Steinman. Bonnie Tyler's version of "Eclipse" and Air Supply's version of "Making Love" topped the charts together, holding No. 1 and No. 2 for a period during 1983.
Meat Loaf is credited with having been involved in the writing of some of the tracks on the album, including the title track, "Midnight at the Lost and Found".
The title track still regularly forms part of Meat Loaf concerts, and was one of few 1980s songs to feature on the 1998 hit album The Very Best of Meat Loaf. This was Meat Loaf's final album to be released through Epic. It was also his last album release via Sony Music until 2011's Hell in a Handbasket.
On December 5, 1981, Meat Loaf and the Neverland Express were the musical guests for Saturday Night Live where he and former fellow Rocky Horror Picture Show actor Tim Curry performed a skit depicting a One-Stop Rocky Horror Shop. Later, Tim Curry performed "The Zucchini Song" and Meat Loaf & the Neverland Express performed "Bat Out of Hell" and "Promised Land".
Arista Records and Bad Attitude (1984)
In 1984, Meat Loaf went to England to record the album Bad Attitude; it was released that year. It features two songs by Jim Steinman, both previously recorded. It was a minor success with a few commercially successful singles, the most successful being "Modern Girl". The American release on RCA Records was in April 1985 and features a slightly different track list, as well as alternate mixes for some songs. The title track features a duet with The Who's lead singer Roger Daltrey.
"Modern Girl" was the first single taken from the album but was only a moderate success on the European Charts.
In 1986 he and songwriter John Parr started recording a new album, Blind Before I Stop. In 1985, Meat Loaf took part in some comedy sketches in the UK, with Hugh Laurie. Meat Loaf also tried stand-up comedy, appearing several times in Connecticut.
Blind Before I Stop (1986)
Blind Before I Stop was released in 1986. It features production, mixing, and general influence by Frank Farian. Meat Loaf gave songwriting another shot with this album and wrote three of the songs on the album. Released as a single (in the United Kingdom) was "Rock 'n' Roll Mercenaries", which was a duet with Rock singer John Parr. Another single released in the United Kingdom was "Special Girl".
According to Meat Loaf's 1998 autobiography, the album sold poorly because of its production. Meat Loaf would have preferred to cancel the project and wait to work with more Steinman material. However, the album gained a cult following over the years, with the songs "Execution Day" and "Standing on the Outside" as standout tracks on the record. "Standing on the Outside" was also featured during the third season of the 1980s television series Miami Vice; it was used several times during the episode titled "Forgive Us Our Debts" (first aired December 12, 1986).
The song "Masculine" was the only song from the record that was a live show mainstay from 1987 to 1992. He then omitted that song in favor of "Life Is a Lemon and I Want My Money Back", following the success of Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell.
Virgin Records and Bat Out of Hell II (1993)
Following the success of Meat Loaf's touring in the 1980s, he and Jim Steinman began work during the Christmas of 1990 on the sequel to Bat Out of Hell. After two years, Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell was finished. The artist's then manager, Tommy Manzi, later told HitQuarters that music industry insiders were wholly unenthusiastic about the idea of a comeback, and considered the project "a joke". The immediate success of Bat Out of Hell II saw the album going on to sell over 15 million copies, and the single "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" reaching number one in 28 countries.
Meat Loaf won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo in 1994 for "I'd Do Anything for Love". This song stayed at No. 1 in the UK chart for seven consecutive weeks. The single featured a female vocalist who was credited only as "Mrs. Loud". Mrs. Loud was later identified as Lorraine Crosby, a performer from England. Meat Loaf promoted the song with American vocalist Patti Russo, who performed lead female vocals on tour with him. In Germany, Meat Loaf was commercially successful following the release of Bat Out of Hell II.
Welcome to the Neighborhood (1995)
In 1995, Meat Loaf released his seventh studio album, Welcome to the Neighborhood. The album went platinum in the United States and the United Kingdom. It included three singles that hit the top 40, including "I'd Lie for You (And That's the Truth)" (which reached No. 13 in the United States and No. 2 in the UK), and "Not a Dry Eye in the House" (which reached No. 7 in the UK chart).
I'd Lie for You (And That's the Truth) was a duet with Patti Russo, who had been touring with Meat Loaf and singing on his albums since 1993. Of the twelve songs on the album, two are written by Jim Steinman. Both are cover versions, the "Original Sin" from Pandora's Box's Original Sin album and "Left in the Dark" first appeared on Jim Steinman's own Bad for Good as well as the 1984 album
Emotion by Barbra Streisand. The video had a bigger budget than any of his previous videos. His other singles, "I'd Lie for You (And That's the Truth)" and "Not a Dry Eye in the House", were written by Diane Warren.
Is Nothing Sacred? and The Very Best of Meat Loaf (1998)
In 1998, Meat Loaf released The Very Best of Meat Loaf. Although not reaching the top ten in the United Kingdom, it went platinum in December of that year, and was already platinum around the rest of the world just after its release. The album featured all of Meat Loaf's best-known songs, a few from his less popular albums from the 1980s, and three new songs co-written by Jim Steinman – two with Andrew Lloyd Webber and one with Don Black, "Is Nothing Sacred", released as a single. The single version of this song is a duet with Patti Russo, whereas the album version is a solo song by Meat Loaf. The album did not feature any songs from his 1986 album Blind Before I Stop.
Couldn't Have Said It Better (2003)
In 2003, Meat Loaf released his album Couldn't Have Said It Better. Only for the third time in his career, Meat Loaf released an album without any songs written by Jim Steinman (not counting live bonus tracks on special edition releases). Although Meat Loaf claimed that Couldn't Have Said It Better was "the most perfect album he did since Bat Out of Hell", it was not as commercially successful. The album was a minor commercial success worldwide and reached No. 4 in the UK Albums Chart, accompanied by a sellout world tour to promote the album and some of Meat Loaf's best selling singles.
One such performance on his world tour was at Sydney's 2003 NRL grand final. There were many writers for the album including Diane Warren and James Michael, who were both asked to contribute his 2006 album, Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose. James Michael had never written for Meat Loaf before, and it was only his songs that were released as singles from the album. The album featured duets with Patti Russo and Meat Loaf's adopted daughter Pearl Aday. Upon the album's release, Meat Loaf told Paul Stenning, "The more you discover it, the better the record gets for you.
I think we did that the correct way, everyone involved. I can sense that from how the record is sustaining itself without a lot of airplay."
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (2004)
From February 20 to 22, 2004, during an Australian tour, Meat Loaf performed with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, titled Bat Out of Hell: Live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. The performance included the Australian Boys' Choir singing back-up on a Couldn't Have Said It Better-track, "Testify". The show was released as a DVD and a CD called "Meat Loaf and The Neverland Express featuring Patti Russo Live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra". The CD had few edited songs from the concert on it.
On November 17, 2003, during a performance at London's Wembley Arena, on his Couldn't Have Said It Better tour, he collapsed of what was later diagnosed as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. The following week, he underwent a surgical procedure intended to correct the problem. As a result, Meat Loaf's insurance agency did not allow him to perform for any longer than one hour and 45 minutes.
As well as singing his best-known songs, Meat Loaf sang a cover version of the hit single "Black Betty". During this tour he also sang "Only When I Feel", a song meant to appear on his then-upcoming album Bat Out of Hell III. The song subsequently turned into "If It Ain't Broke (Break It)".
Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose (2006)
Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman had begun to work on the third installment of Bat Out of Hell when Jim suffered some health setbacks, including a heart attack. According to Meat Loaf, Jim was too ill to work on such an intense project while Jim's manager said health was not an issue. Jim Steinman had registered the phrase "Bat Out of Hell" as a trademark in 1995. In May 2006, Meat Loaf sued Jim Steinman and his manager in federal District Court in Los Angeles, seeking $50 million and an injunction against Jim's use of the phrase.
Jim and his representatives attempted to block the album's release. An agreement was reached in July 2006. According to Virgin, "the two came to an amicable agreement that ensured that Jim Steinman's music would be a continuing part of the 'Bat Out of Hell' legacy." Denying reports in the press over the years of a rift between Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman, Meat Loaf told Dan Rather that he and Jim Steinman never stopped talking, and that the lawsuits reported in the press were between lawyers and managers, and not between Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman.
The album was released on October 31, 2006, and was produced by Desmond Child. The first single from the album "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (featuring Marion Raven) was released on October 16, 2006. It entered the UK Singles Chart at No. 6, giving Meat Loaf his highest UK chart position in nearly 11 years. The album debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200, and sold 81,000 copies in its opening week, but after that did not sell well in the United States and yielded no hit singles, although it was certified gold. The album also featured duets with Patti Russo and Jennifer Hudson.
In the weeks following the release of Bat III, Meat Loaf and the NLE (the Neverland Express) did a brief tour of America and Europe, known as the Bases Loaded Tour. In 2007, a newer, bigger worldwide tour began, The Seize the Night Tour, with Marion Raven, serving as a supporting act, throughout the European and American tour. Portions of the tour in February 2007 were featured in the documentary Meat Loaf: In Search of Paradise, directed by Bruce David Klein. The film was an official selection of the Montreal World Film Festival in 2007. It opened in theaters in March 2008 and was released on DVD in May 2008.
During a performance at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, on October 31, 2007, at the opening of "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" he suggested that the crowd of thousands should enjoy the performance as it was the last of his career. He attempted to sing the first line of the song, but instead said "Ladies and gentlemen, I love you, thank you for coming, but I can no longer continue." Removing the jacket he was wearing, he thanked the audience for 30 years, said "goodbye forever" and left the stage. His tour promoter, Andrew Miller, denied that this was the end for Meat Loaf and said he would continue touring after suitable rest. The next two gigs in the tour, at the NEC and Manchester Evening News Arena were cancelled because of "acute laryngitis" and were rescheduled for late November. The concert scheduled for November 6, 2007, at London's Wembley Arena was also cancelled. Meat Loaf cancelled his entire European tour for 2007 after being diagnosed with a cyst on his vocal cords. After releasing a statement he said "It really breaks my heart not to be able to perform these shows," adding "I will be back."
On June 27, 2008, Meat Loaf returned to the stage in Plymouth, England, for the first show of The Casa de Carne Tour alongside his longtime duet partner Patti Russo, who debuted one of her own original songs during his show. The tour continued through July and August with twenty dates throughout England, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Six U.S. showdates were also added for October and December 2008.
Hang Cool Teddy Bear (2009)
In May 2009, Meat Loaf began work on the album Hang Cool Teddy Bear in the studio with Green Day's American Idiot album producer, Rob Cavallo, working with such writers as Justin Hawkins, Rick Brantley, Ollie Wride, Tommy Henriksen and Jon Bon Jovi. Though not much was revealed officially to begin with, Meat Loaf gave away some information through videos he posted on Twitter and YouTube. The album is based on the story of a fictional soldier, whose "story" furnishes the theme.
During his concert of March 19, 2011, held outside of Vancouver, B.C., Canada, Meat Loaf explained that he had wanted an insert put with the album to explain what the premise of the album was, but he said there were too many "bleeping" record label politics and it did not get done. He went on to tell the audience that the story was of a soldier who, being wounded, had his life flash forward before his eyes, and the songs were telling the story of his life.
The album is based on a short story by the Los Angeles-based screenwriter and director Kilian Kerwin, a long-time friend of the singer. Hugh Laurie and Jack Black both perform on the album, Hugh Laurie plays piano on the song "If I Can't Have You", while Jack Black sings a duet with Meat Loaf on "Like A Rose". Patti Russo and Kara DioGuardi also duet on the album. Queen's Brian May features on guitar along with Steve Vai. It received positive reviews from critics and fans alike. The first single from the album, "Los Angeloser", was released for download on April 5 with the album charting at number 4 in the UK Albums Chart on April 25, 2010.
The Hang Cool Tour followed in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Patti Russo accompanied him on the tour, continuing through mid-2011.
Hell in a Handbasket (2011)
In May 2011, Meat Loaf confirmed in a video on his YouTube account, that he was in the process of recording a new album called, Hell in a Handbasket. According to Meat Loaf, the album was recorded and produced by Paul Crook; Dough McKean did the mix with input from Rob Cavallo. The album features songs called "All of Me", "Blue Sky", "The Giving Tree", "Mad, Mad World", and a duet with Patti Russo called "Our Love and Our Souls".
On July 6, the album had to be finished for the record company. They released it in October 2011 for Australia and New Zealand, and February 2012 for the rest of the world. Meat Loaf said, "It's really the first record I've ever put out about how I feel about life and how I feel about what's going on at the moment."
The Mad, Mad World tour in connection with the album Hell in a Handbasket was launched in late June 2012. For the tour Meat Loaf has said, "People who come to Meat Loaf shows know what to expect. They know they're going to get full-on energy with the best rock 'n' roll band in the world. That's not an opinion. That's the truth."
AFL 2011 Grand Final performance
At the 2011 Australian Football League Grand Final, the pre-match entertainment was headlined by a 12-minute medley performed by Meat Loaf. The performance was panned as the worst in the 34-year history of AFL Grand Final pre-game entertainment in a multitude of online reviews by football fans and Australian sport commentators.
Meat Loaf responded by calling online critics "butt-smellers", and the AFL "jerks", saying "I will go out of my way to tell any artist, 'Do not play for them.'" In response to this criticism, the AFL changed the format of the entertainment, effective from the 2012 Grand Final, to have a small pre-match show, a larger half-time show, and, for the first time, a free concert open to the public at the Melbourne Cricket Ground after the match.
Braver Than We Are (2016)
Meat Loaf said in 2011 that he planned to release a Christmas album called Hot Holidays. As of September 2021, the album has not yet been released.
In media interviews to promote his 2013 Last at Bat tour, Meat Loaf said he would work with Jim Steinman again on an upcoming album called Brave and Crazy. The album was released in 2016 as Braver Than We Are on September 9 (Europe) and September 16 (North America). It features 10 tracks. Meat Loaf claimed in several interviews that he will be recording reworked versions of Jim Steinman's songs "Braver Than We Are", "Speaking in Tongues", "Who Needs the Young", and "More" (previously recorded by The Sisters of Mercy) for the album. Additionally, the song "Prize Fight Lover", originally issued as a download-only bonus track for Hang Cool Teddy Bear, has been re-recorded for the album.
Later projects and Jim Steinman's and Meat Loaf's death
In January 2020, during an interview for The Mirror, Meat Loaf announced "I'm not old. I've got songs for another record and I'm reading a script." In a February 2020 Facebook post, Meat Loaf announced his intention to record a new album containing 'four or five new tracks', including Jim Steinman's "What Part of My Body Hurts the Most" (a song long requested by fans, but previously under contract restrictions for the Bat Out of Hell musical), along with the original 1975 demo recordings made for the Bat Out of Hell album.
Jim Steinman died on April 19, 2021, of kidney failure. In a Facebook post in November 2021, he further elaborated that he and his band would be returning to the studio in January 2022 to record seven new songs for a forthcoming album, which would also include live tracks from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. However, on January 20, 2022, he suddenly died at age 74. At the time of his death, the recording process had not yet begun.
In addition to his role in 1975 for Rocky Horror Picture Show, he also had a career as an actor in television and film. He played a small role as a doorman/bouncer in Wayne's World in 1992. He appeared as the Spice Girls' bus driver in the 1997 movie Spice World and as Red in the 1998 thriller/drama film Black Dog alongside Patrick Swayze and Randy Travis. In David Fincher's 1999 film Fight Club he played Robert Paulsen, a man who joins a men's self-help group. He also reportedly assisted director David Fincher with the editing of the film.
In 2000, he played a character in the sixth-season episode "Gettysburg" of The Outer Limits. Meat Loaf appears (uncredited) as Jack Black's father in the 2006 film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, providing vocals on the film's opening song "Kickapoo".
On October 26, 2010, Meat Loaf (credited as Meat Loaf Aday) appeared on the Fox television series Glee in "The Rocky Horror Glee Show", the series' tribute episode to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In 2011, he was a contestant in season 11 of Celebrity Apprentice, during which he was eliminated after task number 12. In the course of the contest he had a notable dramatic showdown with fellow contestant Gary Busey which was then televised.
Family and views
In December 1978, Meat Loaf went to work with Jim Steinman in Woodstock, New York, where his future wife, Leslie G. Edmonds, was working as a secretary at Bearsville Studios; they were married within a month. From a previous marriage, Leslie had a daughter named Pearl, who later married Anthrax rhythm guitarist Scott Ian.
In 1979, he and his family moved to Stamford, Connecticut. In 1981, Leslie gave birth to Amanda Aday, later a television actress. For a brief time after Amanda's birth, they lived in Westport, Connecticut. Meat Loaf said that Pearl once came home crying while in fifth grade
"because she had the wrong type of jeans", prompting him to move the family to Redding, Connecticut, which he said "is much more of a blue-collar, working-class kind of town, and it really didn't make any difference what kind of jeans you were wearing". He coached children's baseball or softball in each of the Connecticut towns where he lived. In 1998, the family relocated to California. Meat Loaf and Leslie divorced in 2001. He married Deborah Gillespie in 2007.
In 1984, Meat Loaf legally changed his first name from Marvin to Michael because he was haunted by a Levi Strauss & Co. commercial that said, 'Poor fat Marvin can't wear Levi's'. He is a fan of the New York Yankees and a fantasy baseball player, participating in multiple leagues every season. He has expressed support for the English football team Hartlepool United FC. In June 2008, he took part in a football penalty shootout competition on behalf of two cancer charities in Newcastle upon Tyne. He auctioned shots to the 100 highest bidders and then took his place between the goal posts. He also participates in celebrity golf tournaments.
In 2003, while reporting on Meat Loaf's support for Hartlepool United FC, the BBC claimed that he was seeking a residence in the team's hometown. During a June 2012 show in Austin, Texas, he announced that he had moved to Austin a month prior. He currently resides just outside Calabasas, California. He has revealed that he has social anxiety and said, "I never meet anybody much in a social situation because when I go into a social situation, I have no idea what to do." He says that he does not "even go anywhere" and that he feels he leads a "boring life", saying that he "completely freaked" when having to attend a party and that he was "so nervous, so scared" of the idea. He has also said that he spends time with fellow musicians mainly in work-related situations rather than social ones.
Meat Loaf was among hundreds of artists whose material was destroyed in the 2008 Universal Studios fire.
Meat Loaf was a vegetarian from 1981 to 1992. He declared in 2019 that he would try veganism for Veganuary in 2020, and would be partnering with UK restaurant chain Frankie & Benny's to promote its vegan options. Discussing the confusion caused by his contrasting stage name and dietary habits, he once told Entertainment Weekly, "There've been vegetarians who wouldn't speak to me because of my name. I was sitting with Jon Bon Jovi at one of those awards things, and I say, 'Oh, man, I love K.D. Lang. I'd really like to meet her.' They went to find out if it was okay, and she goes, "No. His name is Meat Loaf". "I stopped being a K.D. Lang fan after that."
Accidents and incidents
In 1978, the singer jumped off a stage in Ottawa, breaking his leg. He finished his tour performing in a wheelchair. In October 2006, Meat Loaf's private jet had to make an emergency landing at London Stansted Airport after the plane's forward landing gear failed.
In July 2011, Meat Loaf fainted on stage while performing in Pittsburgh. He collapsed again while on stage in Edmonton in June 2016 due to severe dehydration, after having already cancelled two other shows due to illness.
The playback containing his pre-recorded, voice-over vocal track continued while he lay unconscious on the stage, which caused controversy over lip syncing.
At the 2019 Texas Frightmare horror convention, Meat Loaf fell off an interview stage and broke his collarbone. Although he did not belong to any faith-based institution, Meat Loaf was religious. While growing up, he attended church with his mother and studied the Bible, which influenced his work. Several of his songs, such as "40 Days" and "Fall from Grace", have religious themes. He prayed every night.
Meat Loaf is not officially registered with any political party. He performed at the 1997 pre-inauguration ball for re-elected Democratic President Bill Clinton and attended the 2001 inauguration of Republican President George W. Bush. He donated to the presidential campaigns of Republican candidates Rick Santorum and John McCain, the latter of whom became the party's candidate in 2008's election.
On October 25, 2012, Meat Loaf endorsed Mitt Romney for president, citing poor relations with Russia as a major reason he had been "arguing for Mitt Romney for a year". He said, "I have never been in any political agenda in my life, but I think that in 2012 this is the most important election in the history of the United States." He then said "There are "storm clouds" over the United States and "thunder storms" over Europe: There are hail storms, and I mean major hail storms! in the Middle East. There are storms brewing through China, through Asia, through everywhere." The same day, he performed "America the Beautiful" standing next to Romney.
Climate change denial, Anti-COVID-19 precautions, & Health
Meat Loaf said that he doesn't believe in climate change. In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2020, he called Greta Thunberg "brainwashed" due to her views on climate change, saying: "I feel for that Greta. She has been brainwashed into thinking that there is climate change and there isn't. She hasn't done anything wrong but she's been forced into thinking that what she is saying is true".
He was critical of the COVID-19 lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, telling the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in August 2021, "I hug people in the middle of COVID ... I understood stopping life for a little while, but they cannot continue to stop life because of politics." He opposed mask mandates and described a person who called for people on airplanes to wear masks as a "Nazi" and "power-mad". Meat Loaf then said: "If I die, I die, but I'm not going to be controlled."
Meat Loaf weighed 240 pounds (110 kg) by the time he was in seventh grade.
In 2003, Meat Loaf was diagnosed with Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome, a condition marked by an extra electrical pathway in the heart which causes symptoms like a rapid heartbeat. Meat Loaf had asthma and, in July 2011, he fainted on stage while performing in Pittsburgh due to an asthma attack.
Meat Loaf died in Nashville, Tennessee, on the evening of January 20, 2022, at the age of 74. No official cause of death was released. He was reportedly ill with COVID-19 earlier in January and unconfirmed reporting by TMZ suggested that he died from COVID-19 complications. After his health rapidly declined, his two daughters rushed to see him in hospital with his wife being beside him as he died. His daughter had posted to Instagram in early January that:
"We are not sick, but we have too many friends and family testing positive for COVID-19 right now, positive but doing OK". Notable people that posted tributes included Bonnie Tyler, Cher, Brian May, Boy George, Piers Morgan, Travis Tritt, Marlee Matlin, Stephen Fry, and Donald Trump. The Queen's Guard performed a rendition of "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)".