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Meat Loaf’s wife describes “gut-wrenching” grief following singer’s death

"I feel much gratitude for the outpouring of love I have received from around the world"

By Hollie Geraghty

Meat Loaf is pictured talking at a panel in 2019
Meat Loaf. (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Super Festivals)

Meat Loaf’s wife, Deborah Aday, has paid tribute to her late husband after the singer died last Thursday (January 20), aged 74.

“The grief I feel over the loss of my husband is gut-wrenching,” Aday said in a statement to PEOPLE. “I was lying close to Michael when he took his last breath and my sadness is beyond words. I’ve always called him by his given name because I didn’t see him as ‘Meat.’ I feel much gratitude for the outpouring of love I have received from around the world.”

She continued: “He meant so much to so many people, and it gave me joy to be able to share him with the world. As his wife, I also want everyone to know how much he meant to me as a husband.”

The couple were married for nearly 15 years at the time of Meat Loaf’s death, whose real name was Michael Lee Aday.

“For me, it was always about him. From the day we met, he was my world and I loved him. There wasn’t a day that went by that we didn’t tell the other how much we loved them. Not a day that we didn’t hug each other.”

She also remembered how they brought out the “silliness and playfulness” in each other. “Michael was a hugger–such a physically affectionate and kind man, and I’m grateful that he brought out those traits in me.”

Tributes poured in from the music world for the US singer, who was said to be critically ill with Covid-19 days before his death, according to TMZ.

Leading the tributes, Cher wrote: “Had So Much Fun With Meatloaf When We Did “Dead Ringer”. Am Very Sorry For His Family,Friends,& Fans. Am I imagining It, or Are Amazing Ppl In The Arts Dying every other Day.”

Alice Cooper also described Meat Loaf as “one of the greatest voices in Rock N Roll”. 

“He just felt like a best friend to everyone no matter how long it had been since you last saw him.  We worked together many times over the years and he was always a force.  He was a real theatrical character like I was so our shows went really well together.” he wrote.

Rick Astley also paid tribute: “Meat Loaf. What a legend. Rest in peace – Rick x,” he wrote.

Meat Loaf sold millions of albums worldwide, with ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ and ‘I’d Do Anything For Love’ being among his most popular hits.