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Music fans are shocked by Meat Loaf’s death in January 2022. At 74 years old, the Grammy Award-winning musician and singer leaves behind an incredible legacy. Meat Loaf’s wife, Deborah Gillespie, and his two daughters were by his side when he died. And prior to his death, he called himself a “cat with 48 lives” because of all of his shocking past injuries and near-death experiences. Here’s what he said happened to him over the years.

What was Meat Loaf’s cause of death? The singer was reportedly ill prior to his death

Meat Loaf passionately singing on stage
Meat Loaf performing at the Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk Contest | Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Singer Meat Loaf (whose real name was Marvin Lee Aday) will forever be known for his smash hits, like “I’d Do Anything for Love,” as well as his famous album, Bat Out of Hell, which earned him accolades. Sadly, the legendary musician and actor died on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. TMZ reports Meat Loaf’s death has been confirmed by his manager Michael Greene.

The media hasn’t officially released Meatloaf’s cause of death. But according to TMZ, the singer became seriously ill with coronavirus (COVID-19). He missed a business dinner because of the illness. However, it’s unclear if his bout with coronavirus is directly responsible for his death.

“We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man,” the official Facebook statement regarding his death reads. “We thank you for your understanding of our need for privacy at this time. From his heart to your souls … don’t ever stop rocking!”

Prior to Meat Loaf’s death, he described a number of shocking near-death experiences and injuries

Before Meat Loaf’s death, he spent a number of interviews going into the wild tales of touring and his youth. And he also described his near-death experiences and injuries that could’ve cost him his life.

Grunge reports Meat Loaf once called himself a “cat with 48 lives” because of everything he went through. The singer said he had previously fallen three stories, had 18 concussions, went through eight car crashes, and needed multiple knee replacements. He even had close calls on airplanes. Essex Live reports his plane went through a crash emergency landing in October 2006 when the plane’s forward landing gear failed.

As far as the car crashes go, Essex Live notes he claimed one of the crashes caused the vehicle to roll after careening too fast around a bend. Meat Loaf was reportedly in the back seat, and he claimed he could never sit in that same spot in the car again after that.

Yet another story involved “a 12-pound shot put” that hit him in the head from 62 feet away and dented his skull. He told the tale to Rolling Stone in 2018. According to Meat Loaf, the hit to the head improved his vocal range and didn’t damage him.

Later in life, Meat Loaf underwent four surgeries for his back. The Sun reports he told fans the back pain would “bring you to your knees.”

The singer also claimed his father attacked him with a butcher’s knife

A black and white photo of Meat Loaf backstage in 1981 pointing his finger at the camera aggressively
Meat Loaf | Sony Music Archive via Getty Images/Terry Lott

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Not only did Meat Loaf recount a few wild personal stories of near-death experiences, but he had a difficult childhood. The singer told Rolling Stone his father once attacked him with a butcher’s knife shortly after his mother died of cancer in 1966.

“I rolled off the bed just as he put that knife right in the mattress,” he claimed. “I fought for my life. Apparently, I broke three ribs and his nose, and left the house barefoot in a pair of gym shorts and a T-shirt.”

Meat Loaf then moved to Los Angeles in 1967. He never looked back on his home life in Texas.

“But there’s a lot of sadness and anger, which is pretty much at the core of what he does,” actor and singer Ellen Foley said of Meat Loaf.

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