The late Meat Loaf left behind a towering legacy that included several multiplatinum albums and collaborations with dozens of rock 'n' roll heavy hitters.

The megawatt singer and actor born Michael Lee Aday died on Thursday at the age of 74. A slew of tributes quickly poured in from fellow musicians, including Brian May, Slash and Ted Nugent.

While Meat Loaf is best known for his blockbuster 1977 debut album Bat Out of Hell and its chart-topping 1993 sequel Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell — which sold a combined 19 million copies in the U.S. — his music career got off to a humbler start in the early '70s. He appeared in 1974's The Rocky Horror Show and its 1975 film adaptation, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and he sang on Nugent's 1976 album Free-for-All after singer Derek St. Holmes quit.

Meat Loaf's touring band, the Neverland Express, also proved a hotbed of talent. Brothers Bob and Bruce Kulick, both of whom also played with Kiss, performed with the Neverland Express during the Bat Out of Hell tour. The band's 1981 lineup featured guitarist Davey Johnstone, best known for his decades-long collaboration with Elton John.

In later years, Meat Loaf's Rolodex of high-profile collaborators would grow even bigger. His 2006 album Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose, boasted co-writing credits from Nikki Sixx and John 5, along with guest performances by May, Todd Rundgren and Steve Vai. Its 2010 successor, Hang Cool Teddy Bear, upped the ante even more, with a Jon Bon Jovi co-writing credit and guest appearances from Jack Black, the Darkness' Justin Hawkins and House star Hugh Laurie. The LP also featured vocals from Meat Loaf's stepdaughter, Pearl Aday, who is married to Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, connecting the theatrical rock singer to the metal world.

Revisit Meat Loaf's illustrious career and numerous high-profile collaborations below in our Meat Loaf Through the Years photo gallery.

Meat Loaf Through the Years: Photo Gallery

The Bat Out of Hell singer led a unique life, as these photos attest.

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