Born James Richard Steinman on November 1, 1947, Jim Steinman was born in New York City to Louis and Eleanor Steinman. He received a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College in 1969, during which time he began collaborating on music for theatre productions and directing. In the 1970’s, Steinman created music for theatre productions such as Ubu, a puppetry show, and Rhinegold, a musical based on Wagner’s Ring Cycle. During 1972, Bette Midler recorded a demo of Steinman’s song “Heaven Can Wait”, which began to skyrocket Steinman’s career as a songwriter. In 1973, Steiman wrote the music and lyrics for a musical called More Than You Deserve. While working on the musical, Steinman met Meat Loaf, whom he would go on to collaborate with on Steinman’s legendary album Bat Out of Hell. Steinman is best known for his work with successful musicians such as Bonnie Tyler, Celine Dion, and Barry Manilow.
Steinman had been approached by Andrew Llyod Webber to write the lyrics for Phantom of the Opera, but turned down the position due to a scheduling conflict. The two would later collaborate on the musical Whistle Down the Wind (1998). Steinman also wrote the score for Tanz der Vampire, a musical staged by Roman Polanski that opened to rave reviews in Vienna in 1997. Steinman’s most successful musical is Bat Out of Hell: the Musical, which opened in 2017. It has gone on to play sold-out crowds in London, Toronto, Germany, and New York City.
Known for his distinct, over-the-top style, Steinman’s is often called the “Father of the Power Ballad” and is a huge influence in the epic rock genre.
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