Meat Loaf's Wife Announces Upcoming Celebration of Life Service Will Honor Musician's Legacy

"I want it to be a gathering that he would be proud of," said the late rock star's wife Deborah Aday

Meat Loaf
Meat loaf and Deborah Gillespie. Photo: Dennis Clark/Getty

Meat Loaf will be honored with an upcoming celebration of life service.

On Thursday, the "Bat Out of Hell" rocker's wife Deborah Aday issued a statement announcing she plans to hold the service in honor of his legacy.

"I want it to be a gathering that he would be proud of," said Aday, who married the star in 2007.

"The love and appreciation we've received from friends and fans from around the world has been staggering, and it offers me such comfort. I want to say thank you to everyone for the support during the most difficult time of my life."

Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf. Andre Csillag/Shutterstock

Meat Loaf, whose real name was Marvin Lee Aday, died at 74 on Jan. 20.

Aday gave PEOPLE an exclusive statement at the time, saying the artist was her "world…from the day we met."

"The grief I feel over the loss of my husband is gut-wrenching. I was lying close to Michael when he took his last breath and my sadness is beyond words. I've always called him by his given name because I didn't see him as 'Meat.' I feel much gratitude for the outpouring of love I have received from around the world," she said.

She added, "Our life together was an adventure. He was my best friend, my confidant, my lover and I miss him terribly already. As much as my heart is in pain right now, my heart is also so full of the love and glory we shared together. I will love you forever, Michael."

Meat Loaf
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

The legendary singer's agent Michael Green also issued a statement following his death that highlighted his six-decade-long career.

"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," Green said.

"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," Green 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 understanding our need for privacy at this time. From his heart to your souls... don't ever stop rocking!"

Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf. Pete Still/Redferns

Celebrities remembered Meat Loaf in moving tributes following his death.

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

Iconic singer Cher, who worked with Meat Loaf tweeted, "Had So Much Fun With Meatloaf When We Did 'Dead Ringer'. Am Very Sorry For His Family,Friends,& Fans."

"Am I imagining It, or Are Amazing Ppl In The Arts Dying every other Day."

Meat Loaf's Ghost Hunters episode begins streaming on discovery+ on Saturday, Feb. 12.

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