Remembering Meat Loaf: From Outcast, to Rock Legend



Meat Loaf, the rock-opera singer known for his debut album “Bat Out of Hell,” died as a legendary rockstar in January 2022 following a battle with COVID-19. But for the musician born Marvin Lee Aday, it was a long road to superstardom. 

Aday suffered a rough upbringing, originally raised by his mother alone before she died during his teenage years. Aside from familial troubles — his father was out of his life due to a struggle with alcohol abuse — Aday was bullied for his weight. The origin of his nickname and eventual stagename, Meat Loaf, was never fully uncovered. It’s been widely questioned, most recently by the Associated Press, and stories range from weight-related insults to a love for his mother’s recipe. 

Meat Loaf was anything but a consistent star, but his works are some of the most memorable from the era. “Bat Out of Hell” took a few years to get off the ground because record labels didn’t think Aday had the appearance of a rockstar. What he did have was a strong, booming opera-style voice that became instantly recognizable for a generation. Eventually that was enough, as the debut album was released in 1977 to mixed reviews. Now, the album is one of the best-sellers of all-time, selling over 43 million copies and certified 14x Platinum by the RIAA. 

Fans didn’t just fall in love with Aday’s stunning vocals — paired with excellent, sometimes comedic songwriting by partner Jim Steinman — as they fell in love with the story of Meat Loaf. Aday was a 250-pound rockstar that originally faced adversity in school and on the Broadway stage, but he overcame those odds to become a legend. It’s a simple and necessary reminder that everyone has talent, and some might not fit into the traditional mold of a star. If we resort to outcasting people because of their identifiers, we could lose the next Meat Loaf. 

A statement released by his family on Facebook read]: “From his heart to your souls…don’t ever stop rocking!” With classics like “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” and “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That),” paired with Aday’s charming persona, generations will be rocking along to his tracks.