Jim Steinman: who was the Bat Out of Hell songwriter, what are his songs - and what did Meat Loaf say about his death?

The songwriter who penned several classic hits has died of kidney failure at the age of 73

Jim Steinman, a Grammy Award winning songwriter and producer, has passed away at the age of 73, his brother has confirmed.

Speaking to The Associated Press, Bill Steinman said that his brother died on Monday (19 April) from kidney failure, and had been ill for some time.

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Who was Jim Steinman?

Jim Steinman was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012 (Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame)

Jim Steinman was a composer, songwriter and producer who was behind some of the biggest hit songs in history, perhaps most well known for his work with Meat Loaf and the Bat Out Of Hell trilogy.

He was born on 1 November 1947 in New York to his parents Louis and Eleanor, and graduated from George W Hewlett High School in 1965. He would go on to receive his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College in 1969.

Steinman began his career in musical theatre, and in college he wrote and starred in a rock musical called The Dream Machine. After he graduated, he worked at the Public Theatre in New York and his first professional musical was More Than You Deserve.

One of the actors that was cast in the show was Marvin Lee Aday - perhaps better known now as Meat Loaf, which is where the two first met.

Steinman would go on to write Meat Loaf’s iconic Bat Out of Hell record, which is the biggest debut album ever, and the third best selling album of all time. In 1993, Steinman also wrote Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell topped the charts in 38 countries and introduced the global hit I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That).

In 2006, Steinman rounded out the Bat Out Of Hell trilogy with Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose. The three albums laid the foundation for his rock musical Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical, which premiered in 2017.

Throughout his career, Steinman would go on to write hits for the likes of Bonnie Tyler, Air Supply, Celine Dion, Boyzone, Barbra Steisand, Sisters of Mercy, Barry Manilow and more. He also wrote the lyrics for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Whistle Down the Wind, which opened on the West End in 1998.

In 2012, Steinman was introduced into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. At his induction, Meat Loaf said: “There is no other songwriter ever like him.

“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.”

What songs did he write?

While Steinman is best known for writing Meat Loaf’s epic Bat Out Of Hell album, he was also the writer behind some of the biggest songs of all time, spanning across a variety of artists.

As well as writing songs for Meat Loaf, some of the most famous songs Steinman has written includes:

- Holding Out For A Hero for Bonnie Tyler

- Total Eclipse of the Heart for Bonnie Tyler

- It’s All Coming Back to Me Now for Celine Dion

- No Matter What for Boyzone

- Making Love Out of Nothing At All for Air Supply

- Read ‘Em and Weep for Barry Manilow

- More for Sisters of Mercy

Steinman received a Grammy Award as producer for Best Album of the Year for Celine Dion’s Falling Into You in 1997.

Speaking to iHeatRadio in 2017, Steinman revealed that he felt his best song was Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart.

He said: “That song never goes away. It’s the biggest karaoke song in the world and it’s been covered dozens of times.

“It’s one of my children and I’m as proud of it as I am the others. I try not to play favourites, but yeah, it’s special.”

Online tributes

Many of Steinman’s music industry friends and collaborators have paid tribute to the songwriter on social media.

The official Meat Loaf Facebook page posted: “Coming here soon, My brother Jimmy. Fly Jimmy Fly.”

Bonnie Tyler wrote: “I am absolutely devastated to learn of the passing of my long term friend and musical mentor Jim Steinman.

“Jim wrote and produced some of the most iconic rock songs of all time and I was massively privileged to have been given some of them by him. I made two albums with Jim, despite my record company initially thinking he wouldn’t want to work with me, thankfully they were wrong, and can say without any doubt that Jim was a true genius.

“He was also a funny, kind, supportive, and deeply caring human being and the world is a better place for his life and his work and a worse one for his passing.

“I will always be grateful to him for the opportunity to work with him and also to know him too.

“Rest in Peace Jim my friend.”

Celine Dion Tweeted: “I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of Jim Steinman. He was a musical genius… an amazing producer and songwriter… and having the opportunity to work with him was one of the greatest privileges of my career. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”

Ronan Keating wrote: “Rest in peace the mighty Jimbo. @boyzoneofficial were lucky to get their hands on “No Matter What” and it sent us global. Thank you to you and @andrewlloydwebber.”

Graham Russel, from rock group Air Supply, wrote on Instagram: “Today we lost one of the world’s greatest songwriters. There aren’t many left now, but Jim Steinman was one of those rare unique composers that carved his own path and created his own style that others could only hope to follow.

“I feel so privileged to have known Jim and for Air Supply to have recorded one of his incredible songs.

“Legends are not made on Earth, they are created in Heaven! Rock on Jim.”

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