Remembering Meat Loaf: How Iconic Singer Got His Unique Stage Name

by Jacklyn Krol
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How did Meat Loaf get his stage name?

The rocker was born Marvin Lee Aday and later changed his name to Michael Lee Aday. He ended up changing his name because of a Levi’s ad and he couldn’t wear jeans because of his size. Once he became a rocker, his stage name became Meat Loaf.

Over the years, he offered numerous stories behind his beloved nickname.

In 2016, he appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s Where Are They Now show where he told a believable story. He explained that his father gave him the nickname when he was an infant. According to him, he was born bright red and his father joked that they should put a “meat” tag on him. This was because he apparently “looked like nine-and-a-half pounds of ground chuck” as a newborn.  The second half of his name came when he reached eighth grade. He accidentally stepped on a coach’s foot and they screamed, “Get off my foot, you hunk of meatloaf!”

In an interview with The Guardian in 2003, he shared that he did not want to tell the origin story of his stage name. And that “names and ages piss me off. So I just continually lie.” So could these all be a ruse and just jokes?

More Meat Loaf Origins

Back in 1978, he told People a completely different story. He said that his name was because of his weight and that it came from growing up in Dallas, Texas. He explained that he couldn’t remember weighing less than 185 pounds.

“[Meat Loaf] adopted his stage name and closely guarded his real one — Marvin Lee Aday — to save his devout Church of Christ kin from embarrassment,” the outlet reported at the time. “The nom de guerre itself originated with seventh-grade classmates in commemoration of his initials and size — 5 foot, 2 inches, 240 lbs.”

Finally, he told  The New York Times a completely different Meat Loaf origin story. He claimed that it was a mix of an insult and a car commercial that created his stage name. This was the most outlandish story that he told a media outlet yet.

“Meat Loaf … told numerous stories about how he got his stage name, including one about a high school stunt in which he let a Volkswagen run over his head,” the outlet wrote. “Afterward, a child shouted, ‘You’re as dumb as a hunk of meat loaf.'”

Outsider.com