Tuesday, April 20th, 2021
The office of the chief medical examiner in Connecticut confirmed Steinman’s death to Rolling Stone. A cause of death was not given.
A statement posted on Steinman’s Facebook page read, “It’s with a heavy heart that I can confirm Jim’s passing. There will be much more to say in the coming hours and days as we prepare to honor this giant of a human being and his glorious legacy. For now, do something that makes you feel young, happy and free. He’d want that for you!”
Steinman’s wholly unique career found him working as a composer, lyricist, and producer for an array of artists in a variety of styles. According to a biography on his website, the records he’s worked on have sold more than 190 million copies worldwide. He was nominated for four Grammys over the course of his career as well, ultimately winning Album of the Year for his work on Dion’s 1996 smash, Falling Into You.
Steinman began his career in musical theater, writing and starring in a rock musical while in college called The Dream Engine, which garnered the attention of New York theatrical producer Joe Papp. After graduating, Steinman worked at the Public Theater in New York (which Papp established) and juggled various creative projects. In 1973, Yvonne Elliman recorded Steinman’s song “Happy Ending,” which became Steinman’s first commercially released tune. That same year, the Public Theater staged his musical More Than You Deserve.
One of the actors who auditioned for More Than You Deserve was Meat Loaf, and he and Steinman soon struck up a close personal and professional relationship. The two began working on Meat Loaf’s proper solo debut, Bat Out of Hell, in the early Seventies, but the album wouldn’t be released until 1977. It wasn’t until about one year later — after Meat Loaf performed on Saturday Night Live — that the album became a certified hit.
“There is no other songwriter ever like him,” Meat Loaf said at Steinman’s induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012. “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.”
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