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Superstar Meat Loaf dies after COVID-19 illness. Rocker had opposed mask, vaccine mandates, admitting, 'If I die, I die, but I'm not going to be controlled.'

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Sony Music Archive via Getty Images/Terry Lott

Legendary musician Meat Loaf has died after falling critically ill with COVID-19, TMZ reported early Friday morning. The iconic rocker had been vocal in his opposition to mask and vaccine mandates in the months leading up to his death.

The singer, whose real name is Marvin Lee Aday, died on Thursday at the age of 74 with his wife and daughters by his side.

What are the details?

During an August interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Aday blasted politicians for attempting to hand down mask and vaccine mandates.

"I'm happy to give you a hug," he told the interviewer. "I hug people in the middle of COVID."

The interviewer, clearly surprised, asked Aday if he was afraid.

"Oh, I’m scared to death!" he responded. "You kidding me? But I'm sorry, I understood stopping life for a little while, but they cannot continue to stop life because of politics. And right now they're stopping because of politics. And on CNN last night, it finally came out that the masks we’re all wearing are useless. But I've known that for six months. They don't do anything. They don't stop you from getting COVID. They're just a nuisance and make your nose itch and make it so you can't breathe."

The reporter responded, "Oh, God. We're being controlled by everybody."

A resigned Aday fired back, "Yeah, I know. But not me. If I die, I die, but I'm not going to be controlled."

In May, the vocalist shared "Stand and Deliver" on his social media pages — an anti-lockdown theme from Eric Clapton and Van Morrison.

A statement about his death on the artist's Facebook page said, "Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side. Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours. His amazing career spanned six decades that saw him sell over 100 million albums worldwide and star in over 65 movies, including Fight Club, Focus, Rocky Horror Picture Show and Wayne's World. Bat Out of Hell remains one of the top ten selling albums of all time."

The statement concluded, "We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man. We thank you for your understanding of our need for privacy at this time. From his heart to your souls ... don't ever stop rocking!"

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