After the commercial success of Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, and earning a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for the song "I'd Do Anything for Love", Aday nevertheless experienced some difficulty establishing a steady career within the United States. This did not stop him from becoming one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with worldwide sales of more than 100 million records. The key to this success was his retention of iconic status and popularity in Europe, especially the United Kingdom, where he received the 1994 Brit Award for best-selling album and single, appeared in the 1997 film Spice World, and ranked 23rd for the number of weeks spent on the UK charts in 2006. He ranks 96th on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock".
Aday appeared in over 50 films and television shows, sometimes as himself or as characters resembling his stage persona. His film roles include Eddie in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), and Bob Paulson in Fight Club (1999). His early stage work included dual roles in the original Broadway cast of The Rocky Horror Show. He also appeared in the musical Hair, both on and off Broadway.