Rock Legend Meat Loaf Dead at 74: 'Don't Ever Stop Rocking'

Meat Loaf died on Thursday evening surrounded by his wife Deborah, daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends

Legendary rocker and actor Meat Loaf has died, PEOPLE confirms. He was 74.

"Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight surrounded by his wife Deborah, daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends," Meat Loaf's agent Michael Green said in a statement to PEOPLE.

"His amazing career spanned 6 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. We thank you for understanding of our need for privacy at this time. From his heart to your souls... don't ever stop rocking!"

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Born in Dallas, Texas, in 1947 as Marvin Lee Aday, Meat Loaf began his career in the arts in school productions.

After moving to Los Angeles in his 20s, the artist joined the original L.A. Roxy cast of The Rocky Horror Show in 1973, where he portrayed both Eddie and Dr. Everett Scott. He was later asked to reprise his role as Eddie in the 1975 film adaptation.

Meat Loaf also starred in other film and television series, many films of which were some of the most iconic of the 1990s. Meat Loaf starred in 1992's Wayne's World as Tiny, 1999's Fight Club as Robert Paulsen and as Dennis in 1997's Spice World.

Meat Loaf
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

On TV, Meat Loaf made appearances on series among the likes of: Ghost Wars, Elementary, House and Monk. He also appeared on an episode of Glee in 2010 that paid tribute to Rocky Horror.

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Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf. Pete Still/Redferns

In 1977, Meat Loaf broke into the music scene with his debut album, Bat Out of Hell. In 1993, he released a follow-up LP, Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell. The records produced a group of hits, including "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)."

Meat Loaf won a Grammy in 1993 for best solo rock vocal performance for "I'd Do Anything for Love."

The musician also had a longtime partnership with Jim Steinman, who wrote all of his big hits, before his death in April 2021. (Steinman even penned "Total Eclipse of the Heart" for Meat Loaf, but the musician's label wouldn't let him record the song, so it went to Bonnie Tyler.)

Speaking with Rolling Stone after Steinman's death, Meat Loaf said: "We belonged heart and soul to each other. We didn't know each other. We were each other."

Meat Loaf
TED ALJIBE/AFP via Getty Images

Following news of Meat Loaf's death, a number of celebrities who worked with the rocker, or called him a friend, paid tribute to him on social media.

"R.I.P Meatloaf. Love and prayers to all his family and close friends," wrote Boy George. "He once turned me upside down in a Chinese Restaurant in St Johns Wood."

"Had So Much Fun With Meatloaf When We Did 'Dead Ringer'. Am Very Sorry For His Family,Friends,& Fans," said Cher. "Am I imagining It, or Are Amazing Ppl In The Arts Dying every other Day."

In a statement of his own, British actor Stephen Fry remembered Meat Loaf, who he performed alongside on Saturday Night Live years ago. "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.

Added Fry, 64: "… he had the quality of being simultaneously frightening and cuddly, which is rare and rather wonderful …"

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