Meatloaf was born Michael Lee Aday. He was the first child of police officer father Orvis and school teacher mother, Wilma.
Orvis was a renowned alcoholic who would often slumber into drinking binges which lasted several days. As Meat Loaf would inevitably end up driving round town with his mother, looking in bars for Orvis, he would often instead stay with his grandmother Charlsee Norrod.
After completing college, Meat Loaf enrolled at North Texas State University where he was called for an army physical. Meat Loaf was so determined not to pass the fitness test that he deliberately gained sixty-eight pounds in just over a month. Yet despite being colour blind and overweight, his draft notice arrived two weeks later - which he ignored.
In 1967, Meat Loaf left Texas and moved to Los Angeles where he started working as a bouncer at a nightclub. It was in LA that Meat Loaf formed his first band, Meat Loaf Soul. It was during the recording of their first song that Meat Loaf hit a note so high that he managed to blow a fuse on the recording monitor which immediately led to an offer of three separate recording contracts- which he turned down all of.
The band underwent several line-up changes on lead guitar, each time culminating in a new band name, including Floating Circus and Popcorn Blizard.
After Floating Circus split, Meat Loaf took on several low-key jobs, one of which would inadvertently lead to his breakthrough in the media. While working as a parking lot attendant he had a chance meeting with a man who asked what Meat Loaf did when he wasn’t on the lot. After mentioning that he was a singer in his spare time, the man suggested he should audition for the stage musical, 'Hair'. The audition was a success and led to Meat Loaf starring in a six month run in Detroit.
Meat Loaf’s role in 'Hair' was the kickstart he needed, as the publicity generated led to an invite from Motown to record a duet album with Stoney Murphy. The album entitled 'Stoney and Meatloaf' (deliberately shown as one word at this point) was completed mid-1971 and released in September the same year. To support the album release, the duo toured with Jake Wade and the Soul Searchers but Meat Loaf soon left after the pair’s vocals were cut from the single ‘Who is the Leader Of People?’ and replaced with Edwin Starr’s voice.
When the tour was over Meat Loaf rejoined the Hair cast, this time on Broadway. Hiring an agent for the first time, Meat Loaf auditioned for a theatre production of More Than You Deserve where he met his future collaborator Jim Steinman for the first time.
At the end of 1973, Meat Loaf received a call asking him to be in 'The Rocky Horror Show' playing the parts of Eddie and Dr Scott. The success of the play led to a film version of the production being made in which Meat Loaf took the part of Eddie. At the same time, work began with friend and songwriter Jim Steinman on the music album, 'Bat Out Of Hell'.
After spending time seeking a record deal, 'Bat Out Of Hell' was finally released in 1977. The album was a huge success and following an appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1978, Meat Loaf’s status was on the up. With the increasing rise in Meat Loaf’s profile, a rift had started to emerge between Meat Loaf and Steinman. Steinman felt that due to the group’s name, his work as creator and influence was being sidelined and he wasn’t getting the attention or credit as a partner that he felt he deserved.
During a show in Toronto, Meat Loaf fell off stage and broke his leg, causing the rest of the tour to be cancelled. Due to the fact he was incapacitated and unable to work; Meat Loaf turned to the dark world of cocaine and suffered a nervous breakdown. Things took a turn for the better in 1978 though when he went to Woodstock to work with Steinman again and met Leslie Edmonds at a recording studio, who he fell in love with and married within a month.
After waving goodbye to his prior drug addiction, Meat Loaf started working on his second album, 'Dead Ringer' in 1980. The album was released the following year but its success was limited due to the fact that the tour planned to support the album was cancelled because the group ran out of money advanced to them by the recording label.
The following albums releases, 'Bad Attitude' (1984) and 'Blind Before I Stop' (1986) failed to alight both consumer and critic’s enthusiasms so Meat Loaf began to tour smaller venues to try and revive his career. Slowly he had established a faithful following and Meat Loaf’s gigs grew to sell-out status by the late 1980s.
The success of touring reunited Meat Loaf and Steinman who began work on 'Bat Out Of Hell II' which was released in 1993, 16 years after its prequel. The album was a huge hit and considered the ultimate comeback in the music world. 'Bat Out Of Hell II' sold over 15 million copies and the single 'I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)' reached the number one spot in 28 countries.
In 1995 Meat Loaf released 'Welcome To The Neighbourhood' which followed the success level of 'Bat Out of Hell II' and went platinum in both the US and UK.
Meat Loaf continued to record albums throughout the 90s and most recently released 'Braver Than We Are' (2015). A small cloud on the horizon resulted from the rocky relationship with song writing partner Jim Steinman again, after he sued Meat Loaf and his manager for using the phrase ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ for the third album’s title, citing he’d registered it in 1995 at the time of the follow-up release. Despite Steinman attempting to block the release of 'Bat Out of Hell III', an agreement was finally reached and according to Virgin records, the quarrel was settled amicably out of court.
Simultaneous to his continuing musical career, Meat Loaf has continued to act in parallel to the group’s album releases. The parts Meat Loaf undertakes have so far mostly been in relatively low-budget or unsuccessful film productions yet it’s this fact which perhaps suggests that Meat Loaf views his acting career as a basis of enjoyment rather than a serious sideline to his musical success.