Singer Bonnie Tyler Remembers ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ Composer Jim Steinman: He Wrote “Some Of The Most Iconic Rock Songs Of All Time” – Update

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Greg Evans
·4 min read
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UPDATE, with Bonnie Tyler tribute Jim Steinman, the composer and lyricist whose roster of hit records included the huge Bonnie Tyler hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” was remembered by the singer as the “true genius” behind “some of the most iconic rock songs of all time.”

“I am absolutely devastated to learn of the passing of my long term friend and musical mentor Jim Steinman,” tweeted Tyler, whose other hits composed by Steinman included “Holding Out For A Hero.”

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“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…”

Read Tyler’s full statement below.

Deadline confirmed Steinman’s death with the Connecticut state medical examiner earlier today. The composer, lyricist and producer whose roster of hit records began with Meat Loaf’s smash 1977 debut album Bat Out of Hell, was 73. A cause of death has not been disclosed.

Steinman, whose sweeping operatic producing style was a perfect fit for the sometimes bombastic, highly melodic and lyrically baroque pop of Tyler, Meat Loaf, Celine Dion, and Barry Manilow, found a home on the theatrical stage as well, composing the score for the 2017 musical Bat Out of Hell, as well as the Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1996 West End musical Whistle Down the Wind.

Though neither of those stage shows received Broadway productions, Steinman’s Dance of the Vampires, based on Roman Polanski’s film The Fearless Vampire Killers, began a short-lived stint at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre in 2002. The composer’s “Holding Out For Hero” was included in the 1998 Broadway musical adaptation of Footloose.

Bat Out of Hell is among the 35 best-selling albums in U.S. history, racking up 14 million units sold, per the RIAA. Its singles “Two of Three Ain’t Bad” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” — which peaked at No. 11 and No. 39 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively — both were certified platinum in 2018.

“Paradise by the Dashboard Light” — a duet with Ellen Foley, who went on to star in Season 1 of Night Court — famously features longtime New York Yankees announcer “calling the action” as the teenage narrator makes a move on his girlfriend. Watch the video for the song below, with Karla DeVito lip-synching the “Stop right there!” role. She then went on tour with Meat Loaf to support the album.

The pair also collaborated on the 1993 album Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, which has moved more than 5 million units in the U.S. Its platinum lead single “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” spent five weeks at No. 1 in late 1993, by far Meat Loaf’s biggest hit. The nearly eight-minute official video for that one is below also.

Bat Out of Hell also was a smash overseas, spending more than 10 years on the UK album chart despite peaking at No. 9. It remains among the 20 best-sellers of all time there. Bat Out of Hell II hit No. 1 in Britain, as did the single “I’d Do Anything for Love.”

Following his breakthrough with Bat Out of Hell, which eventually would reach sales of more than 50 million worldwide, Steinman wrote such hits as Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and “Holding Out for a Hero,” Manilow’s “Read ‘Em and Weep,” Air Supply’s “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” and Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.” The latter two peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100.

“Holding Out for a Hero” was adapted as part of the 1998 Broadway musical adaptation of Footloose.

New York native Steinman also reteamed with Meat Loaf for 1981’s Dead Ringer and 2016’s Braver Than We Are. Steinman’s 1981 solo album Bad for Good charted in the mid-60s stateside but hit No. 7 in the UK. It spawned the U.S. Top 40 single “Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through.”

For film, Steinman contributed to the soundtracks of Shrek 2, A Small Circle of Friends and Rude Awakening.

Last month, Meat Loaf, aka Michael Lee Aday, told Deadline of his plans for a TV relationship competition series based on the 1993 hit “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” the song written by Steinman. The composer was not a participant in the project.

Survivor information was not immediately available.

Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.

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