Following his sudden passing, many fans are now curious to know what Meat Loaf’s net worth was before his death. The rock star, known for songs like “Bat Out of Hell,” among others, died at the age of 74 on January 20, 2022, leaving behind a career spanning six decades and millions of records sold around the world.
Meat Loaf—who was born Marvin Lee Aday and later known as Michael Lee Aday—was born on September 27, 1947, in Dallas, Texas to parents Wilma and Orvis. Meat Loaf’s mother Wilma was a schoolteacher and choir singer, whereas his dad Orvis, a former cop, was an alcoholic who often disappeared for days at a time. As the couple’s only child, Meat Loaf had a lonely upbringing; but this only inspired his theatric flair. When he was a teenager, Meat Loaf attended Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas, where he played football and appeared in school productions of The Music Man and Where’s Charley. It was around this time that Meat Loaf’s nickname was fully formed. His football coach reportedly started calling him “Meat Loaf” after years of already being referred to simply as “Meat” when he was a kid, and ever since, the name stuck.
After graduating from high school in 1965, Meat Loaf enrolled at Lubbock Christian College before transferring to North Texas State University in Denton, Texas. Two years later, when Meat Loaf was just a month shy of turning 20, his mother died following a battle with cancer. She left Meat Loaf an inheritance—but he could never return home. His father allegedly attempted to kill his son with a knife after the funeral, leading him to move away for good. Meat Loaf relocated all the way to Los Angeles, which is where he’d eventually form his first band, Meat Loaf Soul. He performed with the group for two years before his unlikely big break in a Los Angeles production of the musical Hair in 1970.
Thanks to the publicity surrounding Hair, Meat Loaf was suddenly fielding new and exciting career opportunities. Among them was an invitation from the notable Motown Records. The record label asked Meat Loaf to make an album with his Hair co-star, Shaun “Stoney” Murphy, to which the pair followed through, delivering Stoney & Meatloaf in October 1971. Around the same time, Meat Loaf reprised his role in the official Broadway run of Hair before setting his sights on music more seriously. And there was an important figure in his life who helped him get there.
While on Broadway, the performer met composer and lyricist Jim Steinman, who worked with Meat Loaf on a production of his 1973 musical, More Than You Deserve. Meat Loaf and Steinman would eventually work together on a handful of songs, including 1977’s “Bat Out of Hell.” The pair remained close collaborators and friends until Steinman’s death in April 2021. In an interview with Rolling Stone at the time, Meat Loaf revealed, “After he died, his nurse, Mary Beth, left me a message saying how much he loved me. She said I was the one person he needed more than anyone else in his life. I don’t want to die, but I may die this year because of Jim. I’m always with him and he’s right here with me now. I’ve always been with Jim and Jim has always been with me. We belonged heart and soul to each other. We didn’t know each other. We were each other.”
With the news of Meat Loaf’s death, many fans are feeling the same heartbreak today. But with the passing of any legend, it’s worth celebrating the exciting moments in their lives that captivated audiences in the first place. From 1975’s Rocky Horror Picture Show, to chart-topping songs like “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” and “I’d Do Anything For Love,” keep on reading up ahead for everything we know about the rock star’s illustrious career—including details about Meat Loaf’s net worth and music earnings at the time of his death.
How much did Meat Loaf make from Bat Out of Hell?
Meat Loaf and Steinman began working on Bat Out of Hell in 1972. But it wasn’t until Meat Loaf finally decided to take a break from theatre after starring in a production of Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1973 that he and Steinman were really able to take the album seriously. The pair would eventually collaborate with Ellen Foley, a friend of Meat Loaf’s whom he met during his theater days on the set of a National Lampoon production of Lemmings, while working on Bat Out of Hell. Foley, for her part, performed hit songs like “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” and “Bat Out of Hell” with Meat Loaf on the album.
Getting a record deal, however, proved difficult for Meat Loaf and Steinman. The pair faced repeated rejections from record company after record company, as many believed that their songs didn’t fit neatly into any recognized genre in the music industry and would be impossible to sell. Eventually, Utopia rock star Todd Rundgren signed on to produce the album and play lead guitar. This sweetened their prospects, but it still took some time until they found a record label willing to take a chance on their debut. Finally, in October 1977, Bat Out of Hell was released via Cleveland International Records.
The record went on to become one of the best-selling albums in history, with sales totaling over 43 million copies around the world, 15 million of which were within the United States alone. More than four decades since its release, the 14x Platinum-certified album continues to sell an estimated 200,000 copies each year. While it’s unclear quite how much Meat Loaf made from the record, he hinted at having received rather meager earnings from the album during his April 2021 interview with Rolling Stone. “I was always on the road because I never got any royalties,” he said at the time. Given this statement, it’s likely that most of Meat Loaf’s net worth and music salary is made up of touring revenue.
What was Meat Loaf’s net worth?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Meat Loaf’s net worth was $40 million at the time of his death in January 2022. Meat Loaf’s net worth was amassed thanks to his 12 studio albums, including 1993’s certified 5x Platinum record Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, 1995’s Welcome to the Neighbourhood and 2006’s Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose. In addition to his music career, Meat Loaf’s net worth likely saw an impressive boost due to his appearances in TV and film over the years. The rocker starred in 1975’s cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show and 1999’s Fight Club, along with series like Ghost Wars, Elementary, House, Monk and Glee on television.
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 all time. To Hell and Back relives every bump and adventure 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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