Ronnie James Dio, one of the creators of Heavy Metal, died yesterday, May, 16, at 7:45am of stomach cancer. Though this was the end of his struggle with this terrible disease, it is a great loss to the music world.
Aged 67, Ronnie James Dio had over 50 years of music career, and had taken part in some of the best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal bands of the 70's and 80's, Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio. Presently he had been a part of the band Heaven & Hell, which is the name of one of the albums Dio released with Black Sabbath in 1980.
Dio's unique tenor voice was strong, loud, thrilling, andperfect for the songs he used to sing about good and evil conflicts, such as Heaven and Hell, Rainbow in the Dark, and Time Machine. His performances were always fascinating and in his interviews, he was always kind and genial.
The most moving thing about his death is the amount of messages fellow musicians both young and old have written about him, which only say the best things about him. Here is a selection of them:
"I am at an absolute loss right now upon hearing that Ronnie has passed away... I swear to you he is one of the nicest human beings I have ever met, period. Many a night on that tour, Glen [Drover, then-MEGADETH guitarist] and myself would have amazing conversations with Ronnie about his career, etc. fully knowing he had probably told these stories 10,000 times to people and yet he answered every question I had with a big smile. I can recall so many times making eye contact with Glen sharing the exact same thought: 'Dude, I can't believe we are hanging with RONNIE JAMES DIO!!!!!'
"If you are lucky enough in your lifetime to actually meet one of your idols (let alone tour with them) and they turn out to be even nicer than you could have envisioned, that is something you would truly treasure. Lucky for me, I will cherish those memories forever." - Shawn Drover, Megadeth
"It is a very sad day today... I have lost a very dear friend.
"Ronnie was a true leader of heavy metal... an icon and a visionary... There will never be another like him.
"Ronnie gave me wisdom, and showed me great compassion when he was in ELF, all those years ago, when we were on tour together in my time in DEEP PURPLE. He was a beautiful soul, kind, considerate and a wonderful teacher.
"Some day I'll be bringing your microphone up there with me, and we'll sing a song, and share a Vindaloo together...
"I'll miss, you mate." - Glenn Hughes,former-Deep Purple/Black Sabbath
"Today the world has lost the greatest vocalist in the history of hard rock. He was also the nicest and warmest human being I have met in the music business.
"I had the good fortune to meet Ronnie on many different occasions throughout the years. He was always interested in what others had to say. He always listened. He never forgot a face and he would always have some wise words to impart. You always left his presence a little more enriched. He was always encouraging and he has been a tremendous inspiration in my life..." - Janne Jarvis, Warrior Soul
"Rest in peace, Ronnie James Dio... one of the greatest of all time.
"Looks like Dime [late PANTERA guitarist 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott], Randy [Rhoads; late OZZY OSBOURNE guitarist], Cliff [Burton; late METALLICA bassist] and Bonzo [late LED ZEPPELIN drummer John Bonham] just scored the ultimate singer.
"This is one of the saddest days in metal ever." - Mike Portnoy, Dream Theater
"I've been in total shock; I just can't believe he's gone.
"Ronnie was one of the nicest people you could ever meet. We had some fantastic times together.
"Ronnie loved what he did, making music and performing on stage. He loved his fans so much. He was a kind man and would put himself out to help others.
"I can honestly say it's truly been an honor to play at his side for all these years.
"His music will live on forever.
"Our thoughts are with Wendy Dio [Ronnie's wife/manager] who stood by Ronnie until the end. He loved her very much.
"The man with the magic voice is a star amongst stars, a true professional.
"I'll miss you so much, my dear friend." - Tony Iommi, Black Sabbath
On last May 4, Ronnie James Dio issued the following statement for fans about the shows he had to cancel because of his health problems:
"I would like to voice my great disappointment on the cancellation of the HEAVEN & HELL summer tour. Wendy [Ronnie's wife/manager], my doctors and I have worked so hard to make it happen for all of you, the ones we care so much about, that this setback could be devastating, but we will not let it be. With your continued love and support, we will carry on and thrive. There will be other tours, more music, more life and much more magic."
Here are two moments, one from the past and one recent to remember him for. RIP.