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Saying goodbye to a legend. Meat Loaf, the rockstar behind hits like “I’d Do Anything For Love” and “Bat Out of Hell,” has died at the age of 74 on January 20, 2022. But how did Meat Loaf die, exactly? His sudden death has left fans wondering about his real cause of death—and we’re sharing everything we know so far below.
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Meat Loaf, born Michael Lee Aday in Dallas, Texas, had a spectacular rock music career that spanned six decades. The legendary musician was one of the most successful performers of all time, selling millions of records worldwide. His most popular release was his Bat Out Of Hell album trilogy, which was known for its operatic rock style and popular single of the same name. The first album in the trilogy, which was released in 1977 and spent nine years on the music charts, is one of the best-selling albums in history with over 43 million copies sold. More than four decades after its release, the album is certified 14x Platinum and continues to sell an estimated 200,000 copies each year.
The rocker is also known for his film and television appearances throughout the years, the most notable of which include his role as Eddie in 1975’s Rocky Horror Picture Show and the character Robert “Bob” Paulson in 1999’s Fight Club. On television, the musician starred on shows like Ghost Wars, Elementary, House, and Monk, along with a Rocky Horror Picture Show-themed episode of Glee in 2010.
Two decades before his death, Meat Loaf also became a published author with the release of his book, To Hell and Back: An Autobiography, in 1999. The following year, the autobiography was adapted into a TV documentary movie on VH1, titled Meat Loaf: To Hell and Back.
His longstanding career came to a tragic end when news broke of his sudden death in January 2022. The rock star was 74 at the time. Understandably, fans of the “Bat Out of Hell” singer have since wanted to know how Meat Loaf died. Read up ahead for everything know about Meat Loaf’s cause of death.
How did Meat Loaf die?
Meat Loaf died on January 20, 2022, at the age of 74. The rockstar left behind his wife Deborah, whom he married in 2007, and his two daughters Pearl and Amanda, whom he shared with his ex-wife Leslie Aday. Following his tragic death, Meat Loaf’s surviving family issued a statement confirming the news of his passing on the star’s Facebook page.
“Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side. Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours,” the statement read. “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 ten selling albums of all time.”
The post continued, ‘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. We thank you for your understanding of our need for privacy at this time. From his heart to your souls… don’t ever stop rocking!” While the statement did not include details about Meat Loaf’s cause of death at the time, reports later surfaced revealing how Meat Loaf died.
But before reports could pour in about Meat Loaf’s cause of death, many celebrities who worked with and knew him were already paying homage to the rock star on social media. “Had So Much Fun With Meatloaf When We Did ‘Dead Ringer’. Am Very Sorry For His Family,Friends,& Fans,” wrote Cher, referring to their 1981 single “Dead Ringer For Love.” The pop star added, “Am I imagining It, or Are Amazing Ppl In The Arts Dying every other Day.”
“R.I.P Meatloaf. Love and prayers to all his family and close friends,” Boy George wrote on social media. “He once turned me upside down in a Chinese Restaurant in St Johns Wood.”
Meanwhile, British actor Stephen Fry also remembered the legend, whom he performed with on an episode of Saturday Night Live in the mid-80s. “I hope paradise is as you remember it from the dashboard light, Meat Loaf. Had a fun time performing a sketch with him on Saturday Live way back in the last century,” he tweeted, adding, “He had the quality of being simultaneously frightening and cuddly, which is rare and rather wonderful…”
What was Meat Loaf’s cause of death?
So, how did Meat Loaf die? While no official cause of death has been shared, TMZ reported that sources with knowledge of the moments leading up to Meat Loaf’s passing claimed that he was “seriously ill” with COVID-19 before his death. The rock star was reportedly planning to attend a business dinner just days before his death to discuss a show he was working on, titled after his famous single, “I’d Do Anything For Love.” But, according to the insiders, Meat Loaf never made it—the musician had to cancel his dinner as his health was already on the decline.
At the time of writing, it is unclear if Meat Loaf was ever vaccinated against the virus. Meat Loaf’s family have also yet to confirm or deny these claims.
Just months before his death, Meat Loaf opened up about being “scared to death” of COVID—yet he claimed he’d “rather die” than have to deal with quarantine. During an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published in August 2021, he also labeled face masks a “nuisance.”
“You’re not afraid (of Covid)?” a reporter asked him at the time, to which he replied, “Oh, I’m scared to death! You kidding me? But I’m sorry, I understood stopping life for a little while, but they cannot continue to stop life because of politics. And right now they’re stopping because of politics. And on CNN last night, it finally came out that the masks we’re all wearing are useless. But I’ve known that for six months. They don’t do anything. They don’t stop you from getting Covid.”
Later, when the interview said, “We’re being controlled by everybody,” Meat Loaf replied, “Yeah, I know. But not me. If I die, I die, but I’m not going to be controlled.”
To find out more about Meat Loaf’s life before his death, check out To Hell and Back: An Autobiography. The book, published in 1999 and written with coauthor David Dalton, tells Meat Loaf’s amazing rags-to-riches story from his upbringing in Dallas, Texas, as the son of a schoolteacher and an alcoholic cop, to becoming one of the most prolific rockstars of our time. Of course, To Hell and Back relives the bumps and misadventures along the way—including the time Meat Loaf landed himself in the middle of JFK’s assassination, picked up a hitchhiker who turned out to be none other than infamous murderer Charles Manson and earned a role in the cult classic film The Rocky Horror Picture Show—all before releasing one of the most successful albums of the century with 1977’s Bat Out of Hell.
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