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Meat Loaf pays homage to friend Jim Steinman, says late songwriter was “the centerpiece to my life”

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Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf in 1977; Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

In a recent pair of phone interviews with Rolling Stone, Meat Loaf delivered a lengthy, heartfelt tribute to his friend and main songwriting collaborator, Jim Steinman, who died April 19 at age 73 after a long illness.

"Since I met Jim, he has been the centerpiece to my life," Meat Loaf told the magazine. "And I was always the centerpiece of his. Jim couldn't do anything or go anywhere that I wasn't with him or I wasn't there."

During the conversations, Meat Loaf recalled meeting Steinman when he auditioned for a 1973 off-Broadway musical Jim co-wrote. He also discussed their close bond as collaborators, their perseverance in making Bat Out of a Hell and getting it released, the rift in and eventual mending of their partnership, and more.

Recalling Steinman's personality, Meat Loaf said, "He was generous beyond scope, but he was also selfish. He'd have 18 dozen donuts and I'd go, 'Can I have one of those donuts?' He'd be like, 'Oh, I don't know about that.' And then we'd be talking about a big screen TV, and next thing I know, one was delivered on Christmas Day."

Meat Loaf explained that in recent years, Steinman had struggled with multiple health issues, including a stroke and triple-bypass surgery. The singer revealed that he spoke with Steinman about 12 times via FaceTime in the past year, although he wasn't able to visit Jim because of the COVID-19 pandemic and his own back issues.

In the wake of Steinman's passing, Meat Loaf maintained, forlornly "I don't want to die, but I may die this year because of Jim. I'm always with him and he's right here with me now…We belonged heart and soul to each other. We didn't know each other. We were each other."

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