WASHINGTON – US singer and actor Meat Loaf, famous for his “Bat Out of Hell” rock anthem, has died aged 74, according to a statement on Friday.
“Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side,” read a statement on his Facebook page.
“Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours.” No cause of death was given in the statement.
The beefy Texas-born singer distinguished himself in the late 1970s with his soaring vocal range and lavish stage productions.
His 1977 “Bat out of Hell” album, which reportedly sold some 43 million copies, is one of the highest-selling ever.
After a career rut, Meat Loaf enjoyed a revival with the success of “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)”, which won him a Grammy Award in 1993.
His role in the 1999 cult-classic “Fight Club” highlighted his acting prowess in one of the decade’s most critically-acclaimed films.
Meat Loaf’s other hit singles include “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” (1977), “I’m Gonna Love Her for Both of Us” (1981).
In 2016, he released a new album his first since 2011 and returned to a busy schedule after a two-year gap in touring, a string of health scares and speculation he would retire.
The singer had collapsed onstage at least three times since 2003, including once in Canada in 2016 after suffering from dehydration while singing his smash hit “I’d Do Anything For Love”.
According to the statement on Facebook, his career spanned six decades that saw him sell over 100 million albums and appear in over 65 movies.
“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,” it added.
“From his heart to your souls don’t ever stop rocking!”
Throughout his career, Meat Loaf had several small parts in films and TV shows, including the musical comedy “Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975), “Wayne’s World” (1992) and “Fight Club”.
He is one of the few major US musicians outside of the country genre to support the Republican Party actively. In the lead-up to the 2012 election that Barack Obama ended up winning, Meat Loaf campaigned for his challenger Mitt Romney.
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