WITH his eyes bulging and his hair flying, Meat Loaf was a swashbuckling showman who belted out epic songs like few others could.
He was best known for his huge selling Bat Out of Hell album and power ballad I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That).
The force in his vocals and the energy of his stage performances seemed to match the wild stories he told about his life.
But family, friends and fans knew the US singer, who has died aged 74, as a gentle and sensitive soul.
His pal, fellow rock star Alice Cooper, said: "Meat Loaf was one of the greatest voices in rock'n'roll.
"He was so much fun. He felt like a best friend to everyone no matter how long it (was] since you last saw him.
"He would treat the audience almost like ſhe was a Pentecostal preacher. He was so powerful on stage.
“There was nobody like Meat Loaf. His shoes can never be filled.”
Meat Loaf reportedly died due to complications of Covid.
He criticised vaccine mandates and told last year how he was "scared to death” of the virus but did not support strict government restrictions.
The twice-married singer and actor said: “If I die, I die, but I'm not going to be controlled.”
A statement on his Facebook page said yesterday: "Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away, surrounded by his wife Deborah, daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends."
US star Cher, who sang alongside Meat Loaf on 1981 hit Dead Ringer for Love, said: "Had so much fun with [him] when we did Dead Ringer. Am I imagining it, or are amazing people in the arts dying every other day?"
Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler said: “He was, as you might imagine, a larger than life character with a voice and stage presence to match and is one of those rare people who truly was a one-off talent and personality?
Meat Loaf - born as Marvin Lee Aday in Dallas, Texas - was an only child. His mum was a teacher and his dad was an alcoholic ex-policeman.
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