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Jim Steinman, Rock Composer for Meat Loaf and Celine Dion, Dies at 73

Songwriter was behind hits like “Bat Out of Hell” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

Jim Steinman, a composer, lyricist and songwriter known for writing rock and pop hits and working with artists like Meat Loaf on “Bat Out of Hell” and Celine Dion, has died. He was 73.

Steinman’s death was confirmed by the Connecticut state medical examiner’s office, though no cause of death was given as the office did not take jurisdiction.

During his decades-long career, Steinman created such No. 1 hits as Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and “Holding Out for a Hero,” “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” by Air Supply, Meat Loaf’s “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” and Celine Dion’s cover of “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.”

His songs have sold 190 million copies worldwide.

He received a Grammy for Dion’s 1996 album “Falling Into You,” which won Album of the Year. He was once dubbed by the Los Angeles Times as the “Richard Wagner of Rock” (and self dubbed “The Lord of Excess”) for his theatrical musical flair.

Steinman was recently behind the stage production of “Jim Steinman’s Bat Out of Hell,” a rock opera for which he wrote music, songs and lyrics based on the Meat Loaf album. The play had two runs on London’s West End and toured extensively in the U.S.

Steinman got his start in musical theater, writing a musical in college called “The Dream Theater” that got the attention of famed New York theatrical producer Joe Papp. He then went to work on a show called “More Than You Deserve” at Papp’s Public Theater, a job that directly led to Meat Loaf auditioning for Steinman.

Meat Loaf’s 1977 debut album “Bat Out of Hell” remains one of the bestselling albums of all time, having sold more than 40 million copies. The concept album, loosely based on “Peter Pan,” was adaped from a musical Steinman wrote while still working at the Public Theater called “Neverland.”

Upon inducting Steinman into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012, Meat Loaf was quoted as saying there’s “no other songwriter like him.”

“I can never repay him,” Meat Loaf said. “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.”

Steinman also has extensive film credits, with songs appearing in films like “Footloose,” “Shrek 2” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” He also teamed with Andrew Lloyd Webber for the musical stage version of “Whistle Down the Wind,” for which Steinman wrote lyrics, and with Roman Polanski on the score for the stage production “Tanz der Vampire (Dance of the Vampires).”

In 2013, he received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Amherst College, and he was entered into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2016.