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Music

Revisiting Meat Loaf's final live performance

The sad news came in January that the world had lost one of the most powerful rock singers to have blessed our ears. Meat Loaf was famous for his operatic, booming vocals on his hit songs like ‘Bat Out of Hell’ and ‘I’d Do Anything For Love’. 

The singer’s family issued a statement shortly after his passing aged 74, stating: “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. From his heart to your souls…don’t ever stop rocking”.

Meat Loaf’s final performance before his death took place during his appearance on the US talk show Huckabee in September 2021. During the show, Meat Loaf recalled how he had landed his first role as a performer back in 1969 which set him on his way toward greatness as both an actor and a singer.

In 1969, Meat Loaf, or Michael Lee Aday as he was then known, showed up with a friend at the Los Angeles Aquarius Theatre to apply for a job in the car park as a valet. But by a twist of fate, he found himself there while the theatre was accepting open auditions for the upcoming musical production of Hair. After entering the auditions area by accident, the director asked what music 21-year-old Aday had brought with him to perform. “Nothing,” he replied. “I came to get a job in the parking lot.”

Despite the mistake, Meat Loaf decided to give the director a taste of his talent as a singer by performing a few lines of a gospel song he had recently learned. He was duly stopped by the director who asked him: “What are you doing tonight…what if I offered you a job in the musical?”. Meat Loaf, of course, accepted, and just like that, he had begun his career as a performer.

Meat Loaf performed three songs on Huckabee during his final live appearance in September last year; one of the songs was written by his old friend and collaborator Jim Steinman, who had died in April 2021. He said: “He was my brother … so if you don’t mind, we’re gonna dedicate this song to Jimmy.” He then performed Steinman’s song ‘Out of the Frying Pan (and Into the Fire)’. Later in the show, Meat Loaf finished by playing ‘Los Angeloser’ and ‘Mercury Blues’. 

The appearance on Huckabee had been his first major performance in five years; the singer had played his final full concert on June 30th, 2016. In his final show, Meat Loaf set out hoping to show his fans that his vocals had lost none of their power over the years. “My voice is in incredible shape,” he said. “I can sing Bat Out of Hell no problem, all the same key, all the high notes.”

Stream Meat Loaf’s impressive final performance during his appearance on Huckabee below.