Meat Loaf death: How the iconic singer got his unusual stage name

Singer also revealed why he changed his legal name from Marvin to Michael

Annabel Nugent
Friday 21 January 2022 09:07 GMT
Meat Loaf performs ‘I’d Do Anything For Love’ live

The singer known as Meat Loaf, who was behind hits including “Bat Out Of Hell”, has died aged 74.

News of his death was announced on a post shared to his official Facebook page, stating that “the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight” (20 January).

His wife Deborah, daughters Pearl and Amanda, and close friends were with the singer in the hours leading up to his death.

Meat Loaf’s birth name was Marvin Lee Aday, but he later officially changed it to Michael/ He was behind other songs including the 1993 hit “I’d Do Anything for Love”.

Prior to his career as a musician, the singer became famous for his role as Eddie in the 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

As fans and fellow stars pay tribute to the late singer on social media, the story of how Meat Loaf chose his iconic stage name has resurfaced.

It is tricky to discern which backstory is true given that Meat Loaf told a number of tales when asked about the origin story of his unusual moniker.

In a 2003 interview, Meat Loaf said: “Names and ages piss me off. So I just continually lie.”

One story that continues to pop up, however, is that his father was responsible for coming up with the first part of the name.

“I was born bright red, so the doctor suggested that they should keep me in the hospital for a few days,” he recalled during an appearance on Oprah: Where Are They Now?.

Musician Meat Loaf has died aged 70

He said that his dad told the hospital staff: “I want you to name my son there – because he looks like nine and a half pounds of ground chuck – I want you to put a name tag on the front of that plastic crib and it say ‘Meat’ on it.”

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“They stuck that printed card that said ‘Meat’ and that was it,” recalled the singer.

The second half of the stage name came courtesy of his football coach in eighth grade.

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“I stepped on a coach’s foot and he screamed, ‘Get off my foot, you hunk of meat loaf!’” said the singer in an interview.

In a later interview on CNN, Meat Loaf also spoke about why he legally changed his name from Marvin Lee Aday to Michael Lee Aday.

He said: “When I was a kid I was so big – I was really big – that I literally could not wear blue jeans. My mother would take me to [US department store] Sears, and they didn’t make blue jeans that would fit me.”

Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf explained that he was forced to wear pleated jeans in the first grade.

“And a commercial came on air when I was about five or six years old, from Levis. And the commercial was, ‘Poor fat Marvin can’t wear Levis,’” he said.

Meat Loaf explained that while he already had the nickname “Meat” at the time, some of his peers still called him Marvin.

“After that [commercial], nobody called me Marvin,” said the singer.

He was so upset by the experience that he legally changed his name to Michael as an adult in 1984.

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