Amanda Aday, daughter of musician Meat Loaf, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 74, has spoken to the media for the first time since her father’s death, telling People he was a “complex man with a lot of passion who wore his heart on his sleeve”.

Aday, 41, said that she and her sister Pearl “lived a very dichotomous life” as daughters of the Bat Out of Hell singer, touring arenas, travelling on tour buses, “and having all of these amazing experiences” as they travelled with their dad around the globe. When the tours were over and they returned home, however, “it was home and he was just dad,” she says. “He wasn’t Meat Loaf anymore.”

Aday describes Meat Loaf, whose real name was Michael Lee Aday, as a very involved parent, directing their school plays and coaching their softball teams. She said, “If we didn’t get good grades, we were grounded, and all of that stuff. So, it was very much, when we weren’t out on tour living this crazy life, it was very important to him that we were grounded in our home.”

He encouraged his kids to think for themselves and avoid following trends. Aday said, “Growing up, when we were little, he always said he never wanted to be hip. Pearl and I would want a new pair of shoes or something, whatever was in trend, fashion-wise or whatever, and he’d always say, ‘Don’t be trendy. Don’t be hip. Be cool, because cool is always.’ And that was him.”

Aday revealed that Christmas was his favourite time of year, sharing that, “He would stay up all night making train sets around the Christmas tree.” She also shared an anecdote from her sixth Christmas, when Meat Loaf bought her every Playmobil toy imaginable. “He stayed up literally all night and erected an entire Playmobil city and circus underneath the Christmas tree, because that’s what he did. He was dad,” she told People.

She also revealed that both she and her sister rushed to Nashville to be by their father’s side after receiving a call informing them that his health “was declining very rapidly, more rapidly than expected.”

“As soon as we could, we just went to his bedside at the hospital and just sat with him and held his hand,” she said, adding that she was “very thankful” they had a chance to see him before he died.

Image: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

This article first appeared on OverSixty.