Jim Steinman, songwriter for Meat Loaf, Bonnie Tyler, Celine Dion, dead at 73

Songwriter Jim Steinman, who wrote the lyrics for Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” album and Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” died Monday in Connecticut. He was 73.

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The office of the chief medical examiner in Connecticut confirmed Steinman’s death to several media outlets but did not provide a cause of death.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I can confirm Jim’s passing,” a statement posted on Steinman’s Facebook page read. “There will be much more to say in the coming hours and days as we prepare to honor this giant of a human being and his glorious legacy. For now, do something that makes you feel young, happy and free. He’d want that for you!”

Steinman’s compositions cut a swath across several genres of music, including rock ‘n’ roll, adult contemporary, dance, pop, musical theater and film scores, Variety reported.

According to a biography on Steinman’s website, the records he has worked on have sold more than 190 million copies worldwide. He was nominated for four Grammys, winning Album of the Year honors for his work on Dion’s 1996 work, “Falling Into You,” Rolling Stone reported.

In 1973, Yvonne Elliman recorded Steinman’s song “Happy Ending,” which became his first commercially released tune, according to Rolling Stone.

Steinman’s signature work came in 1977, when he debuted Meat Loaf’s debut album, “Bat Out of Hell,” which has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide, according to Rolling Stone. The album had songs like “Paradise By the Dashboard Light,” “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” “All Revved Up With No Place to Go” and the title track, which included a guitar solo imitating the sound of a motorcycle, Entertainment Weekly reported.

It's with a heavy heart that I can confirm Jim's passing. There will be much more to say in the coming hours and days as...

Posted by Jim Steinman Rockman Philharmonic on Tuesday, April 20, 2021

According to the website, Steinman, who was born in New York in 1947, also worked with Meat Loaf on the singer’s 1981 album “Dead Ringer.” He also was the composer and producer on his 1993 album “Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell” and wrote the lyrics for the singer’s “Braver Than We Are” album in 2016.

Other songs composed by Steinman included Barry Manilow’s “Read ‘Em and Weep,” Air Supply’s “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” and Celine Dion’s version of “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” Variety reported.

“There is no other songwriter ever like him,” Meat Loaf said at Steinman’s induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012. “I can never repay him. He has been such an influence, in fact, the biggest influence on my life, and I learned so much from him that there would be no way I could ever repay Mr. Jim Steinman.”

During the 1980s, Steinman collaborated with Barbra Streisand and the Sisters of Mercy, Rolling Stone reported. He produced Tyler’s “Faster than the Speed of Light” album and “Sweet Dreams and Forbidden Fire.” He also composed the theme music for professional wrestler Hulk Hogan and wrote “Holding Out for a Hero” for the “Footloose” soundtrack, according to Rolling Stone.

“My songs are anthems to those moments when you feel like you’re on the head of a match that’s burning,” Steinman told Rolling Stone in 1978. “They’re anthems to the essence of rock & roll, to a world that despises inaction and loves passion and rebellion. They’re anthems to the kind of feeling you get listening to ‘Be My Baby’ by the Ronettes. That’s what I love about anthems -- the fury, the melody, and the passion.”


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