Songwriter Jim Steinman has died at age 73, Variety reports. The Connecticut state medical examiner confirmed that the composer and record producer died on Monday, and a cause of death has not been disclosed. TMZ reports that the death may have been sudden, as there was a medical emergency call to Steinman's home around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday to transport a male patient.
Steinman was a lyricist, composer and producer known for his dramatic style, which lent itself to hits for artists like Meat Loaf, Bonnie Tyler, Celine Dion and Barry Manilow, and his work spanned multiple genres including adult contemporary, rock and roll, dance, pop, musical theater and film scores. He worked on Meat Loaf's 1977 debut album Bat Out of Hell, which is one of the best-selling albums of all time, and collaborated with the singer on multiple other albums including Dead Ringer (1981), Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell (1993) and Braver Than We Are (2016).
Following the release of Bat Out of Hell, Steinman wrote a number of hits including 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" Barbra Streisand's "Left in the Dark" and Dion’s "It’s All Coming Back to Me Now," which was originally released by Steinman's project Pandora's Box. For 3 straight weeks in 1983, Steinman was responsible for the No. 1 and No. 2 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, when "Total Eclipse of the Heart" was at No. 1 and "Making Love Out of Nothing at All" was at No. 2.
"I would do almost anything for what I create," Steinman in an interview quoted on his website. "I can be like a savage mother wolf protecting a cub when it comes to a song." In addition to his work with artists, he also composed the score for the 2017 musical Bat Out of Hell and wrote the lyrics for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1996 West End musical Whistle Down the Wind and contributed to film soundtracks for Shrek 2, A Small Circle of Friends and Rude Awakening. "I've been called over the top," he said. "How silly. If you don't go over the top, you can't see what's on the other side."