How Meat Loaf got his nickname: Rock legend’s multitude of explanations

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News of rock and roll singer Meat Loaf’s death at age 74 was a shock that caught many by surprise.

As the Broadway performer and “Bat Out of Hell” crooner receives a much-deserved send-off from a who’s who of Hollywood and showbiz, one part of the late “Hair” star’s life – his nickname Meat Loaf – seemingly remains obscure.

Born Marvin Lee Aday — and later known as Michael Lee Aday – Meat Loaf has provided a number of different responses for his nickname.

In 1978, he told People magazine that his name derived from his being overweight while growing up in Dallas – reportedly weighing 240 pounds at just over 5 feet tall. 

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American actor and singer Meat Loaf in New York, March 1978. 

American actor and singer Meat Loaf in New York, March 1978. 
(Getty Images)

Meat Loaf also pressed to The Guardian in 2003 that “names and ages pi– me off. So I just continually lie.”

In 2011, he told Piers Morgan: “When I was a kid I was so big, I mean I was really big, I literally could not wear blue jeans,” adding that he ultimately changed his name from Marvin to Michael due in part to a running Levi’s commercial that suggested, “Poor fat Marvin can’t wear Levi’s.”

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However, one explanation that has rung in as the truest amid decades of speculation is one he gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2016 during a profile for the Harpo executive’s “Where Are They Now” series.

In the intimate sit-down interview, Meat Loaf told the former talk show host that when he was born, his father said he “looked like nine-and-a-half pounds of ground chuck” and quipped to hospital staff to place a “Meat” tag on his crib seeing as the future star was “born bright red.”

According to the late singer, it wasn’t until he hit junior high school that he was anointed the “Loaf” part of his famous moniker – explaining to Winfrey that his coach called him a “hunk of meatloaf” after the subordinate stepped on the coach’s foot.

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Regardless of how Meat Loaf earned his nickname, one has to be impressed by the manner with which he leaned into it and took ownership of his name – never allowing teasers and the like to dim his light.

Portrait of singer Meat Loaf, 1987. 

Portrait of singer Meat Loaf, 1987. 
(Getty Images)

Actress Tia Carrere, who acted alongside Meat Loaf in “Wayne’s World,” told Fox News Digital in a statement that the effervescent performer was a thoughtful soul despite his onstage facade.

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“Meat Loaf had this fierce rock and roll persona and seemed so intense in his music, but anyone meeting him knows how kind and contemplative a man he was. He will be missed.”

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He is survived by wife Deborah and daughters Pearl and Amanda.

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