It wasn’t until 1993, years after the late ’70s release of his breakthrough, massively successful album Bat Out of Hell, that Meat Loaf actually had the first Hot 100 No. 1 song of his career with the epic “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” leading the album Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell. That moment brought tears to the late singer’s eyes, his daughter Amanda Aday remembers.
Aday spoke to People about her dad, born Marvin Lee Aday, after he passed away at age 74 on Jan. 20.
“I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” spent five weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, and his Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell album went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
In the interview published on Saturday (Jan. 22), Aday recalls that the family was in Australia when they first heard the news about topping the charts in 1993.
“I remember we were in the hotel room and my mom just started sobbing crying, and my dad started crying. And I’m standing there going, ‘What? What is this? What are you guys doing?’ And then, from there, he was everywhere again,” Aday says. She notes that her father wouldn’t call it a comeback: “I’ve never stopped playing,” he’d say. “I’ve never stopped performing. I’ve always been here. You guys are just now recognizing that.”
Off the stage and at home, the performer — who had just told Billboard in October that he was planning a world tour, a new EP and a TV game show — “was just dad,” she says. “He wasn’t Meat Loaf anymore.”
He directed school plays and coached softball, and he loved Christmas with his kids. “He was Santa Claus,” Aday tells People. “He would stay up all night making train sets around the Christmas tree.”
“He was a singer, he was an actor, he was a father, a husband, he was a grandpa. It was Papa Meat to my nephew. He was everything,” she adds.
She says his family and closest friends were by his side before he died in Nashville, where “he flipped a couple of us off, which is very dad, very appropriate. That’s a good sign. He’s there. He’s joking.” He was looking forward to walking her down the aisle when she marries her fiancé, she says, and his final words to her (though not his final words all together, she clarifies) were “no courthouses, but okay, let’s go.”
Aday says plans for Meat Loaf’s memorial service and funeral are still in the works.