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The Story of Meat Loaf's Amazing Rendition of the National Anthem That Still Charms Fans

Esther NJeri
Jul 28, 2021
09:42 A.M.
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On July 12, 1994, Meat Loaf stunned the nation with his powerful rendition of the national anthem. Twenty-seven years later, it still charms fans who can see the performance online.

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The Grammy Award-winning singer delivered an epic performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner," accompanied by the 1994-1995 Penn State ROTC Color Guard. His breathtaking performance moved fans attending the 65th MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Some could hardly hold back their tears as the singer's powerful and operatic voice filled the vast stadium. Emotions could be seen on the opposing teams' players during close-ups by the camera.

Meat Loaf sings "The Star-Spangled Banner" prior to the All-Star Game in Pittsburgh in 1994 | Photo: YouTube.com/MLB

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STILL VIRAL TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS LATER

Twenty-seven years later, the performance continues to mesmerize fans garnering over 1.6 million views on YouTube since 2013. It has also attracted over five thousand likes, proving how many people were moved by the performance.

Born Marvin Lee Aday on September 27, 1947, the singer is a Dallas, Texas, native. He assumed the stage name "Meat Loaf" and has been present in the industry since 1968. In Los Angeles, he formed his band Meat Loaf Soul where his first gig was to open for Van Morrison's band, Them.

Meat Loaf at SiriusXM Studios on August 21, 2019 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

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HIS MUSIC INDUSTRY INSECURITIES

During his earlier years, the singer played football, and his coach often teased him, calling him Meat Loaf due to his weight. The name would stick with him through the decades, becoming his stage name when he began performing.

However, despite accepting it, Meat Loaf admitted that the name caused him to struggle with being taken seriously in the industry.

Despite his struggles with being respected as a musician, Meat Loaf's extraordinary voice has long been a source of wonder for many fans. Some say that he hit a note so high a fuse on the recording monitor blew up during the recording of his first song with his band.

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HIS MUSICAL SUCCESS

The singer reached an all-time musical success high after selling over 80 million albums. Meat Loaf is considered one of the most successful singers, with his 1977 album "Bat Out of Hell" becoming one of the best-selling albums worldwide.

Although he's been a constant in the industry, he's remained lowkey through it all. He focused on several projects, one of which is his song "I'd Do Anything For Love," which earned him a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance.

HIS VERSATILITY

He is also a prolific actor, with over 50 movies and television shows under his belt. He has appeared in "Fight Club," "Wayne's World," "A Hole In One," and "To Catch A Yeti."

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Meat Loaf at New York City Center on August 20, 2019 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

However, his most memorable performance was in the cult movie, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," where he played Eddie, a wild former delivery boy who meets a problematic end.

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[Meat Loaf] then married Deborah Gillespie in 2007. The couple shares two daughters, Amanda and Pearl.

HIS 2011 AFL GRAND FINAL BLUNDER

While the world remembers his 1994 national anthem performance as one of the best renditions of the song, he has received criticism for his performance at the 2011 AFL Grand Final in Australia. If anything, fans worldwide consider the performance the "worst pre-match show in history."

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At the time, a coach-cum-commentator, Robert Walls, explained the situation, saying that Meat Loaf was scared of the storm brewing at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The organizers forced the star to perform because he was getting paid a whopping $600,000 for 12 minutes performance.

APOLOGIZING FOR THE EVENT

In the end, it was regarded as the "worst Grand Final performance ever." While AFL's Andrew Demetriou blamed the weather for the singer's inability to perform, Meat Loaf would later accuse the AFL of putting no effort into the show.

However, four years later, in 2015, he apologized to all Australians for his performance, claiming he had a series of medical issues at the time. Ultimately, people will remember it as one of the lows of his relatively successful career through the decades.

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Portrait of rock singer Meat Loaf circa 1987. | Photo: Getty Images

And while his performance was a one-time blunder, there have been several other significant yet odd performances from artists over the years.

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During the 2016 Sharks-Storm decider, Richie Sambora, Bon Jovi's lead guitarist, and his girlfriend Orianthi took to the stage to perform some of the band's classics "Livin' On A Prayer," and "Dead Or Alive."

Their performance, however, was anything but good, and the duo has had to deal with criticism from fans, who've named it the worst in sport's history.

Meat Loaf performing on stage during the Bat Out Of Hell Tour, USA, March 1978. | Photo: Getty Images

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The musical genius married Leslie Aday in 1979, but they divorced after 22 years of marriage. He then married Deborah Gillespie in 2007. The couple shares two daughters, Amanda and Pearl.

The "For Crying Out Loud" singer continues to have a loyal fanbase. While he's been quieter in recent years, he remained active in the industry and did not hint at plans of retiring.

MEAT LOAF PASSES ON

Today, the world mourns a man who has been recognized worldwide for his contribution to music, with tunes such as "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" and "Two of Three Ain't Bad" going platinum four decades after their release.

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Meat Loaf at the London Coliseum on St Martin's Lane on November 3, 2016 in London, England. | Photo: Getty Images

Meat Loaf met his end on January 20, 2022, surrounded by his wife Deborah, daughters Amanda and Pearl, and closest friends. His family announced his demise on his Facebook page, thanking everyone that reached out for their love and support during these challenging times.

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The post referred to him as a beautiful man and inspiring artist. They then asked fans to accord the family the necessary privacy to mourn their beloved. The post ended with an emotional tribute to the star, saying:

"From his heart to your souls… don't ever stop rocking!"

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Following the announcement, fans took to the comment section to pay tribute to Meat Loaf, referring to him as an "amazing performer, singer, and human." He passed on at 74.

Those who grew up listening to him reminisced over the many memories they hold of him, while others thought no artist would compare in years to come. Meat Loaf leaves behind a legacy that will live on many decades after his demise.

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