On her 2021 album Fighting Words
, Ellen Foley, the singer/actress who collaborated with songwriter Jim Steinman many times and sang the female lead on "Paradise by the Dashboard Light
," performed a moving version of "Heaven Can Wait" as the closing track. Foley told Songfacts
what drew her to the song. "What I heard first was a gorgeous, intense melody which I think you have to have in a ballad even before you look at the lyrics. But the lyrics of that song are extraordinary and I think different than anything Jim had written up to that point. They deal with mortality, loneliness, and hope."
Foley got the chance to perform "Heaven Can Wait" many times in front of Steinman over the years, but it was the last time that stood out. "Jim had known my version since 1977 because I performed it before Bat Out Of Hell
came out when I played the character Wendy in his theatrical show Neverland
, Foley explained. "Since then, I have sung it with every band in every show I've ever done."
In 2016, Foley sang it at Feinstein's Below 54 in Manhattan during a tribute concert for Steinman, who had been ill for a while. "Jim always told me that my version of 'Heaven Can Wait' was his favorite, and that I was the Maria Callas of rock and roll," she said, adding, "Jim tended to exaggerate a little bit."