Remembering Ronnie: A Tribute To Ronnie James Dio

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Remembering the Man on the Silver Mountain
Ronnie James Dio

R.I.P. Ronald James Padavona (July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010)

In the many years that I’ve run, I consider myself lucky to have interviewed Ronnie James Dio just once. It was a phone interview and as these things usually go, a label/PR type will call and put you on hold until the artist is ready. Therefore, when I answered my home phone expecting as much, I get a “Hello Geoff, this is Ronnie James Dio”. Being taken so aback, my reaction was not as professional as usual as I admit to doing a little fawning over him. For me, this seemingly simple, yet personal touch left an impression on me. He was very polite and professional and while this was “business as usual” for him, it was anything but for me.

Since the early 80’s when I first got into heavy metal, Ronnie James Dio was there and a part of my musical landscape. The first time I heard him was the song “Holy Diver” with the video airing on Canada’s Much Music’s Power Hour. It is to that album (Holy Diver) that my mind always goes to when I think of Dio. The song has been in my mind and played both on my stereo and on my guitar for many years. After discovering Dio, I also got heavily into his Rainbow material and of course his albums with Black Sabbath. When he rejoined Sabbath in the band “Heaven and Hell”, I was hoping for a few more albums and tours. But sadly, as we all know, this reunion with the Sabs was cut short in May 2010.

Shortly after Ronnie’s passing, the staff members of put their heads together and proposed that in one year we should pay tribute to Ronnie by presenting comments and quotes from artists that worked with him, those that knew him, and those that were influenced by his powerful, huge, and unforgettable voice. Of course I gave my blessing as no metal icon is as deserving of such a tribute.

So here are the interviews clips (video/text) from everyone that we could get in contact with over the past year. Long live heavy metal and long live Ronnie James Dio!

EvilG – Owner/Editor-in-Chief –

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Can you remember the first time you heard the godly vocals of Ronnie James Dio?

Yes, I was 16 and a friend of mine let me hear man on a silver mountain… I was a big Blackmore fan and when I heard the song it blew me away and the singer was amazing. I asked my friend “who is that singing?” He said it was Ronnie James Dio… it was truly powerful with great tone and melody… amazing… — Tracy G (DIO)

I was like 11-12 years old, my friend had got some Heavy Metal records on tape and I was recording some of those the very old-school way – using 2 tape recorders, so we had to be quiet during the recording ’cause all the extra noise around us would have ended up into my tape.That Dio album was of course HOLY DIVER, and I was instantly hooked by it – and not only by Ronnie´s divine voice, but also the songwriting and special mood in it. It is still a very timeless record. — Tomi Koivusaari (Amorphis)

Yes it was back in the early 80’s when I was in High School and the Black Sabbath HEAVEN AND HELL album had just came out! I was totally blown away by what Sabbath had done by getting Dio as their vocalist! — Mike Browning (After Death/ex-Nocturnus/Morbid Angel/Incubus/Acheron)

I remember hearing the voice of Ronnie James Dio in about 1980. This was when I was about 11 years of age. It was a Rainbow title and I can’t remember the LP title to save my life but it was a tasty morsel in my brother Ronnie’s collection… Within weeks he turned me on to Black Sabbath’s HEAVEN AND HELL and oh can I tell you, it had such an impression on me that I had to get a guitar and start practicing to learn the songs. My brother was already banded under the name Alias with a few people from his childhood. He played guitar a well and to this day can still blow me away easily. — Brian Werking (Exmortis)

Yes! When I heard “Neon Knights” on the radio. — Patrick Ranieri (Hellwitch)

First time I heard Dio was when I was in High School and my friends played me RAINBOW – Rising; I was completely blown away by the power and precision of Ronnie’s voice, not only that but the cool lyrics and song themes were awesome as well. — Juan Garcia (Agent Steel)

Black Sabbath’s HEAVEN AND HELL album. Great album cover, and the title track remains to be probably my favorite song ever recorded. Tony and Geezer couldn’t have found a better fit to the band, It’s a shame that they weren’t able to record a few more albums.

— Rob Urbinati (Sacrifice)

My cousin Ron was my first resource for heavy music. He lived next door so I’d go over and ask him of he had any new to check out from tim e to time. He turned me on to an old Rainbow record and when i first heard “Stargazer” I was immediately drawn to the vocalist and his way of delivering the lyrics. It was like he was telling this story directly, I instantly became a fan. — Phil Demmel (Machine Head)


As a young teenager, I only had one friend listening to hard rock/metal. Since Internet was unheard of and there were no metal magazines in Sweden at the time, we started out knowing very little of metal and had to learn everything ourselves by talking to people at concerts, buying foreign metal magazines when we could and listening to eachothers tiny but growing record collections. My friend introduced me to Rainbow, Sabbath and Dio. I believe Rainbow “Rising” was the first album with Dio on it that I heard, and I loved it immediately. As I recall it, it was only a matter of weeks before I had bought all Rainbow, Sabbath and Dio albums for myself. — Martin Forssman (Press manager, Sweden Rock Festival/Business manager, Sweden Rock Magazine Business manager, Sweden Rock Shop General manager, Sweden Rock Cruises)

The first time I heard Dio would probably have been when I was about 7-10, somewhere in there. I remember that day clearly but more so the discovery of Dio than the music. I remember an older cousin drove a Camaro, Trans Am or something like that. Anyway it looked like the car in ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ and I thought he was so cool. He had a lot of cassettes in the back of the car and there were a couple of Dio tapes ‘Last in Line’ and ‘Holy Diver’ that just caught my eye right away. So of course thinking my cousin was cool by my logic Dio had to be pretty cool too. That was my first exposes to Dio but I was a kid so I quickly moved on to the newest line of G.I. JOE toys or whatever. Although a couple of years later I would discover Headbanger’s Ball and Dio enter my life again. — Jeremy Golden (Heaven and Hell Records)

It was with Rainbow when I heard RJD for the first time. — Peso (Necrodeath/Ghostrider)

It was with Rainbow on the Rising album, I was electrified right away by the magic of his voice. I became a big fan when he joined BLACK SABBATH later and HOLY DIVER is my favorite Hard Rock album of all time! — Schmier (Destruction)

I was just a little kid and my older brother came home from the record store with the Holy Diver vinyl and told me it was the singer from Sabbath’s new band. I remember looking at that album cover all wide-eyed and thinking, this has GOT to be good. I had no idea the man behind that shackled priest would change the course of my life so profoundly. — Jason Myers (Icarus Witch)

The first time I heard Dio’s mighty voice was back in the lates ‘70s with the band Rainbow. I was blown away by his huge, powerful voice. Rainbow ‘Rising’ is one of my all-time favourite albums! — Steve Janevski (Black Majesty)

Ronnie James Dio was a big inspiration to me – I can’t remember the exact first instance of hearing him sing – I remember seeing a video for Butterfly Ball on TV but I may have been listening to Rainbow before that – the memories are a bit foggy! — Mat Maurer (Mortal Sin)

It was probably hearing Hear ‘n’ Aid’s “Stars” on an Australian music show called “Rock Arena” and I was absolutely blown away that those “hairy heavy metal people” could actually sing (at the time I’d never really listened to metal and was brainwashed by the pop magazines into thinking it was just all screaming and noise). Not long after that, a friend’s older brother played me Black Sabbath’s “Live Evil” album and it completely floored me. That went on to be one of the first two metal albums I ever owned, soon to be followed by everything else Ronnie did. Instant fan! — Lord Tim (Lord)

Ah, Dio… Helluva voice there, eh? I do believe the first time I heard that sound was on Black Sabbath’s LIVE EVIL way back when. I could be wrong about that, but I think that’s when it was. Sounded great then and still does now. Eric and I listened to the first Rainbow album BLACKMORE´S RAINBOW quite a bit in the early Autopsy days and I thought his voice was fucking amazing. I really dug when he sang clean and the power was absolutely there even when it was subtle. It was also a treat to see a solo era Dio video back in the early MTV days when I would soldier through hours of new wave dreck to see that one elusive metal video. Sometimes it would be Dio, or maybe Iron Maiden, Motörhead or Judas Priest. When those moments came it made wading through all that other crap worthwhile. — Chris Reifert (Autopsy)


I want to say it was the video for “Die Young”… I grew up in Toronto, Canada and there was this show in the 80’s called Toronto Rocks, it was basically an hour show every day that played

Rock music videos. They used to play that video a lot… I loved it. — Jason Hook (Five Finger Death Punch/ ex- Alice Cooper, Vince Neil)

Yes, when i started my first band Steel Lily at 15 years old and we played “Rainbow in the Dark”, “Holy Diver”, “We Rock”, “Stand up and Shout”, “The Last in Line”, and many others! — Rob MacEachern (Cool Claws ex Helix / Sven Gali)

As a senior in high school I heard “Man On The Silver Mountain” on the radio. — Damon Johnson (Alice Cooper / ex-Slave To the System/Whiskey Falls/Brother Cane)

The first time I REALLY go the full spectrum of RJD power was standing side stage at the CNE Stadium Toronto in the early 80’s. My band opened for him. What an honor. — Darrell Dwarf Millar ( Dwarfs)

86, my older cousin was playing the live Intermission EP cassette in his car as we were driving around…Rainbow In The Dark came on and blew my mind! — Sean Kelly (Crash Kelly/Nelly Furtado/ex-Helix)

Man on a Silver Mountain in the mid 70’s in the middle of the night listening to Radio North Sea International ( a pirate station ) on my little clock radio…awesome!!!! — Daryl Gray (Helix)

I was a kid and heard “Rainbow In The Dark” at a friend’s place because his older brother was a metalhead and I was blown away by the keyboards and the powerful vocals. — Andrea Ferro (Lacuna Coil)


Thank god for wikipedia, because yeah, I had forgotten the date, but I believe it was my first outdoor festival concert I ever went to….Oakland Coliseum, Day on the Green…check this line up…this was when rock n roll was rock n roll Day On The Green #2: Journey, Cheap Trick, Black Sabbath, Molly Hatchet, Shakin’ Street (July 27, 1980) — Ryan Roxie (Casablanca/Roxie 77/ex-Alice Cooper)

Not precisely the year… Must have been maybe 1980 or 79,it WAS the Rainbow Rising. The music and Vocals were so powerful and eerie that from that day on he was my #1 singer….A true Lord & Legend. — Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper)

My first experience with Dio was actually from my mom, she had Holy Diver on cassette along with some Rainbow albums as well. My mom was the one who got me into Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and tons of other great metal at an early age. — Nathan Lane (Blitzkid)

In the 80’s… I was less than 10 years old, this must have been right around the time DREAM EVIL came out. Somebody in my class played me “Sacred Heart”, and I was mesmerized. At that point, my exposure to rock’n’roll had pretty much been limited to The Beatles, Kiss and Gene Simmons’ solo record. I could instantly tell this was nothing like any of them. Chills down the spine and all that. As quickly as my weekly allowances let me, I sought out second-hand all the Dio albums that had come out at that point and pretty much listened to nothing else for a whole long Fnnish winter. — Janne Perttilä (Barren Earth)

Yes, I can remember hearing “Rainbow In The Dark” on the radio in my teens. It wasn’t until later on that I purchased Holy Diver, then went back through his discography. I had no idea that he had recorded over 50+ records, INCREDIBLE!! — Todd La Torre (Crimson Glory)

Yeah… It was when he sang for Richie Blackmore. — Kenny Hallman (Infernal Majesty)

I remember hearing the brand new Black Sabbath song “Heaven and Hell” on KMET FM (Los Angeles) and I immediately became a fan of the Ronnie James Dio era Black Sabbath! — Rick Cortez (Sadistic Intent)

To risk sounding melodramatic I have to say that my first Dio experience was life changing. It certainly had a lot to do with how I define heavy metal. I was around eleven years old and had just convinced my parents to take me to see the film Heavy Metal. The scene that is set to “The Mob Rules” set the hook, I had to have the soundtrack! From the intro: “EV5150” to Iommi’s opening riff and Ronnie James “Oohhh Come on” all the way through to the fade out, the song is the definition of perfection. To this day it still seems to pump pure energy into me with every listen. — Brad Gentry (Natu Sabverata)

First song i ever heard by Dio was “Rainbow in the Dark”. — Jacob Edwards (Natu Sabverata)

I remember the first time I heard Dio I was about 15 years old, I wasn’t that much of a popular kid so I didn’t have the chicks like the jocks in school so Mark (Platt) and I spent a lot of late night weekends his parents basement drinking, playing pool and listening to music. I hated Dio even without listening to him because he replaced Ozzy so I went into it with a negative attitude. But when he put that album on and Neon Knights started up I went HOLY FUCK what a voice, such power and clarity I was hooked and when Mark and I formed Overlord we always looked for a guy who sounded like Dio and when we did a Sabbath tribute most of it was Dio Sabb. songs. — Branko Zugaj (Overlord CAN)

It was on 89.5 WSOU a college radio station here in NJ. His voice was heavy, melodic, beautiful and evil all in the same breath. — Dan Dunphy (Core Device)

I never heard much Dio before Black Sabbath until after the “Heaven and Hell” album except maybe “Man on the Silver Mountain.” — Malcolm “Mania” Lovegrove (Blacksmith)

My older brother had “Heaven & Hell” which he bought when it came out and he’d crank it on the gigantic stereo system we had in the basement. He was more into softer classic rock like Floyd and The Who so it was one of my first experiences with “the dark side”. My parents’ hated it because it was creepy and there were angels smoking on the cover so I was immediately drawn in. To a 6 year old the title track painted some seriously abstract crazy images in my mind. The love of metal was on for me at that point! — Scott Waldrop (Twisted Tower Dire)

The first I heard of Dio was when he sang for Rainbow and it was the song ” Temple of The King” , It was incredible, his tones and harmony and the sheer power that he had was what started me off on becoming a vocalist in the first place, I believe one of my all time favorites would be a Black Sabbath song from Dehumanizer called “To Late”, His vocals on that song projects pure emotion and feeling, I can listen to that song over and over again, not to mention its a truly evil dark song and you can feel that darkness when he sings it… — Steve Bentley (Ancient Creation)

Yes I can, it was actually in 83′. When I bought ‘Heaven and Hell’ and ‘Live Evil’ at the same time.

— Steve Handel (Seventh Calling)

The first that I heard Dio was when Bruce Dickinson brought a copy of the Black Sabbath album ‘Heaven and Hell’ to Samson rehearsals. We put it on the tape machine and put it through the P.A. at death volume it nearly took apart the rehearsal room… The album stayed with us played every day throughout the following tour. — Thunderstick (Thunderstick / Samson)


What is your personal favorite single Dio album/song, and why?

There’s a lot of them but the one song a played over and over a millions times when I was young was Stargazer… it had everything and it was a long song and had great vocals and a long guitar solo… love it… love the drumming too. — Tracy G (DIO)

During this same session it was a song called “Rainbow in the Dark” which was the first song I really loved. I remember trying to figure out who the hell was playing keyboards in it. That song is still playing in my head at least once a week. — Tomi Koivusaari (Amorphis)

Of course if you are talking Dio it would have to be HOLY DIVER, but anything with Dio on it would have to be Black Sabbath MOB RULES. — Mike Browning (After Death/ex-Nocturnus/Morbid Angel/Incubus/Acheron)

I’ve got to say, my favorite Dio Album is HOLY DIVER and my all time favorite song is “Don’t Talk to Strangers”. “Don’t go to heaven, because it’s really only hell.” Love that line… Starts off real smooth then blasts into some really intense music. If you are old school you know what I mean. This is still one of my favorite releases of all times. You can’t forget about Vivian Campbell’s guitar playing on the album. It’s phenomenal to say the least so if you never have heard it I think it’s about time to spend $15.99 for the best thing around back then. Whatever re-release it is it will be a incredible addition to you collection. — Brian Werking (Exmortis)

Album: HEAVEN AND HELL. Songs: “Children of the Sea” or “Heaven and Hell.” No reason, just are my faves. — Patrick Ranieri (Hellwitch)

For me the Black Sabbath album “Heaven and Hell” is a personal favorite; it shines with magical lyrics and great vocal melodies, and the majority of the songs are heavily complemented by Tony Iommi’s guitar playing. My favorite tracks are “Neon Knights” and “Children of the Sea” Also the album cover to “Heaven and Hell” is just pure genius and cool. — Juan Garcia (Agent Steel)

I described my favorite Dio song as “Heaven And Hell.” The dynamics of the song musically, and the classic nature of the title and lyrics make it a song I never tire of. My favorite album is MOB RULES, and this remains as my favorite all time album ever. To me, everything seems perfect on this recording… the sound, the way the instruments fit together, the songwriting, and of course… Ronnies unparalleled vocal performance. — Rob Urbinati (Sacrifice)

Heaven and Hell/Heaven and Hell. It encapsulates everything about him, the lyrics the vocal style, the conviction. He defended Heavy metal and it’s fans. I loved the way he spoke of Vivian Campbell and the “pussy rock” that he decided to play. He loved heavy music and believed in its throng of followers. — Phil Demmel (Machine Head)


It has to be “Stargazer” on Rainbow “Rising”. I´m a sucker for the epic, big stuff – and it doesn´t really get bigger or more epic than that song. Everything about the song is great, but Ronnie’s performance is just exceptional. He manages to be so dramatic without ever overdoing it. Very tasteful, very classy and still powerful. That sums up Ronnie as a singer too, I think. — Martin Forssman (Press manager, Sweden Rock Festival/Business manager, Sweden Rock Magazine Business manager, Sweden Rock Shop General manager, Sweden Rock Cruises)

As far as a Dio album I really like “Lock up the Wolves” I think it is often overlooked as being one of his best works. And it came out at a really good time in my life we often associated albums to those memories. If we are speaking of any album with Dio then it is ‘Heaven and Hell’ clearly. As for favorite Dio song it would be ‘I Could Have Been a Dreamer’ because I can identify with that song probably more than any other song by anyone. — Jeremy Golden (Heaven and Hell Records)

“Man of the Silver Mountain”. What a fantastic song that still gives me a lot of energy every time when I hear the song. — Peso (Necrodeath/Ghostrider)

Stand up and shout and Holy Diver are my absolute fave tracks! On the new DESTRUCTION album will be a coverversion of Stand up and shout! We bow down for one of the most charismatic rock sings of all time. We felt the need to do that! That album WAS my youth, when it came out I was so impressed and wanted to play in a band as well. Also the coverart of Holy Diver was very attrative for a young Metalhead of that time! Revolutionary! — Schmier (Destruction)


I’d say Last In Line, because I took my older brother’s lead and bought it with my allowance. I remember making cassette of the album on my old Pioneer stereo and bringing it with me on a family vacation. That tape never left my walkman and by the time I returned, I knew every word by heart. So much great material, choosing one song? Christ, from the solo era, “Caught In The Middle” always gives me goosebumps, just those opening chords are so cutting. From Rainbow, probably “Catch The Rainbow.” He had such a powerful voice and presence that his gentle, musicality is often overshadowed. This song could have been an easy listening hit back in the ’70s, but it still belongs to the rock and roll children. From Sabbath, my favorite is probably “Falling Off The Edge Of The World” which was also the very first song Icarus Witch ever recorded, for the Evil Lives True Metal Black Sabbath tribute. — Jason Myers (Icarus Witch)

Kill the King – The live version in Munich, Germany is my particular fave…. awesome version! — Steve Janevski (Black Majesty)

It would be extremely hard to pick “one” particular song so here’s a top ten:

1. Children Of The Sea 2. Lady of the Lake 3. Mob Rules 4. Neon Knights 5. Rainbow In The Dark

6. Holy Diver 7. Long Live Rock’n’Roll 8. Sensitive To Light 9. Die Young 10. Don’t Talk To Strangers — Mat Maurer (Mortal Sin)

That’s a hard one to answer since there’s so many songs that are favourites of mine. I’d probably pick “Rock ‘n’ Roll Children” from the Sacred Heart album as my favourite Dio song. I know a lot of people write that off as a cheesy pop-metal song, but I’m a sucker for catchy chorus and cool keyboard parts in metal songs, and the clip was so 80s and awesome! People dismiss the simple catchy songs but it’s actually quite an art to pull that off well, and Dio certainly nailed it. Album wise, I’d choose the Dream Evil album. Consistently great songs, and killer playing by Craig Goldy. — Lord Tim (Lord)

I remember listening to a radio program on Toronto’s Q107 called the “Top Ten @ Ten” for a very long time Dio’s Last in Line was top 10 and I would wait with my electric guitar and my little amp ready to play along … I loved the solo. — Jason Hook (Five Finger Death Punch/ ex- Alice Cooper, Vince Neil)

Favorite album is still Holy Diver – awesome songs and musicianship – Favorite single is Stand Up and Shout – I love Vinny’s awesome drumming in it! — Rob MacEachern (Cool Claws ex Helix / Sven Gali)

For me it’s the entire Holy Diver album. Killer songs, killer band, and epic vocals on Ronnie’s part. — Damon Johnson (Alice Cooper / ex-Slave To the System/Whiskey Falls/Brother Cane)

Man on the Silver Mountain. Rainbow. All Ronnie’s solo stuff is top notch, but Ronnie and Blackmore together is the deal. That track MOTSM is all vocal power and feel, and the guitars crunch you under a big shoe they are so heavy. — Darrell Dwarf Millar ( Dwarfs)


My favourite album is Dream Evil. I loved Craig Goldy’s guitar tone, and I thought the songs were perfectly composed. There is a very crisp production element that brings the songs to life. As for favourite songs, I would have to say it is a tie between “Time To Burn” and “Hungry For Heaven”…I always loved Dio’s voice in these uplifting, anthemic numbers. His rich tone just makes his great melodies even better. — Sean Kelly (Crash Kelly/Nelly Furtado/ex-Helix)

Heaven and Hell… great groove…singing is so soulful and in the pocket. — Daryl Gray (Helix)

I think that “Holy Diver” will always be his masterpiece, in my opinion it is the essence of his sound with the fantasy lyrics and the epic vocals. He also did a good job with Black Sabbath and Rainbow. — Andrea Ferro (Lacuna Coil)

Something about ‘Stand up and shout’ kind of always makes me, well… stand up and shout! — Ryan Roxie (Casablanca/Roxie 77/ex-Alice Cooper)

There are so many, not only ‘Dio’ material but Rainbow, Sabbath, Elf and Butterfly Ball. Ronnie ALWAYS sounded so great. But a few of my personal favorites are Caught In The Middle, Stand Up and Shout, The Sign Of The Southern Cross and Country Girl. — Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper)

Again, Holy Diver will always be my favorite album/ song, it reminds of my childhood. I prefer Dio’s solo project far more than him with Sabbath, to me Sabbath was Ozzy, Toni, Geezer, and Ward. Not to discount what he did with Sabbath, but to me his best work was solo. — Nathan Lane (Blitzkid)

Album-wise SACRED HEART has a special place in my… heart (no pun intended), but as far as naming a single one goes, as an musical and all-around favorite I’ll say “Last in Line.” — Janne Perttilä (Barren Earth)

Wow, that’s a real tough one to answer. I love “Heaven and Hell”m/ It’s so hard to pin it down to just “one”. One of my all time favorite Dio tunes is “Last In Line”. He was able to capture many different emotions in one song. Sadness, emptiness, pain, anger, etc. It never sounded contrived, always from the heart. He is and was one of the few real powerhouse vocalists that truly defined that singing style. He has influenced so many singers of our time, and certainly will be an inspiration long after we’re even gone. — Todd La Torre (Crimson Glory)

With Rainbow – LONG LIVE ROCK AND ROLL, With Black Sabbath – HEAVEN AND HELL – and with Dio – HOLY DIVER. I guess HOLY DIVER was my fav as it was Dio’s own band and he had a great guitar player in Vivian Campbell. — Kenny Hallman (Infernal Majesty)

That’s an extremely difficult one for me because Dio recorded several classics! To have to narrow it down to one, it’s like a flip of the coin between HEAVEN AND HELL and MOB RULES. With both title tracks including “Over and Over Again”, “Neon Nights”, “Falling Off the Edge of the World”, “Children of the Sea”, “Turn Up the Night”, “Die Young”, “The Sign of the Southern Cross”, etc. I really enjoy both of those albums and on the night of Dio’s passing, his death took the spiritual to another level. In honor of Mr Ronnie James Dio who also indulged in the sinful gift of burning it, “Catch The Rainbow” (Rainbow) was completely enhanced and deep. Godly… — Rick Cortez (Sadistic Intent)

An almost impossible question to answer. If I narrowed it down to the most listened to disc it would most likely be “The Last in Line”. I remember wearing the cassette tape out to the point of breaking. Of course by that point “We Rock”, “The Last in Line” and “Egypt” had already become so worn and muffled that they were almost unlistenable. However my favorite Ronnie James Dio song is actually not on that disc, it’s on Rainbow’s “Rising” disc, the song “Stargazer”. I can’t begin to put into words the amazement I felt with the first listen. Dio’s vocal performance was simply breath taking. — Brad Gentry (Natu Sabverata)


My favorite stuff by Dio is the stuff he did with Sabbath, “Heaven and Hell’ to be specific, I don’t think i need to tell anyone why if you have heard it…and if you haven’t heard it…get out from under that rock its just not healthy. — Jacob Edwards (Natu Sabverata)

Dio has so many good albums from the Rainbow days right up to his solo stuff but I would have to say that the album Heaven and Hell with Sabbath was my favorite one, I think that it was a match made to succeed and those guys sounded so hungry to make something good. After Dio’s bad departure from Rainbow and Ozzy’s bad departure from Sabbath it was a new beginning for both Dio and Sabbath and a great one but very short lived. I remember if very clearly when that first chord of Neon Knights started that album it just got you fist pumping and head bashing right away that by far is my favorite Dio tune no doubt about it, I got drunk many a times listening to that one over and over again. — Branko Zugaj (Overlord CAN)

Hard to pinpoint, songs like Holy Diver and Rainbow In The Dark are up there but probably because I’ve heard them most. — Dan Dunphy (Core Device)

The Sabbath years with Dio were the ones that were the biggest impact on my teenage years. “Lady Evil”, “Neon Nights”, “Heaven and Hell”, “Die Young” were some of my favorite ones.

— Malcolm “Mania” Lovegrove (Blacksmith)

Well it’s totally predictable and not that I’m not a total Dio nerd but it’s gotta be “Rainbow in the Dark”. I remember it being on the radio when I was a kid and it was an era defining song for me. I still love it every time like I’m hearing it for the first. The lyrics and the hooks are undeniably genius. It’s short, concise and full of magical spine-tingling awesomeness turned to 11. Hell, it was so man-power Budweiser even used it for a commercial back then. — Scott Waldrop (Twisted Tower Dire)

I gotta go with the very first Dio album, “Holy Diver”, The title track is one of my favorites from the album along with “Rainbow in the Dark”, back in my youth it just seemed to fit in with the darkness that I put in my life and that album was a great escape or a great way to get closer to those feelings… — Steve Bentley (Ancient Creation)

That is an easy one. My personal favorite album is ‘Last in Line’ , and my favorite song would be ‘I Speed at Night’. Reason being, when I first bought this album, I would throw this song in and take off on the country roads flying over 130 mph at night, got a couple of tickets to prove it! Wherever I was going, this song was on! Good memories! — Steve Handel (Seventh Calling)

Believe it not for me it`s `Bible Black`… I Know that ‘Holy Diver` and all the others are classics but it was the fact that everyone knew he was ill by the time he recorded the last Heaven & Hell album that it had such poignancy beyond words.. Not only that its one hell of a song. — Thunderstick (Thunderstick / Samson)

What is your definitive Dio experience, and where and when did it take place?

When I joined the band in 93… Ronnie let me stay with him at his home while we recorded Strange Highways. He let my Mom and Dad come over and he gave them a tour of his beautiful home and it blew them away. I thought that was very kind of him to do that He would always go out of his way to be kind to people… — Tracy G (DIO)

I was able to see a Dio show for the first time quite late, propably near millenium. I was just wondering how the hell he can still sing and perform like that. He’s voice is definitely most unique, strong and original. — Tomi Koivusaari (Amorphis)

When I saw Dio on his first Holy Diver tour, his stage show was just amazing, it will be something I will never forget! — Mike Browning (After Death/ex-Nocturnus/Morbid Angel/Incubus/Acheron)

Probably when I saw Dio live with Iron Maiden in about 1984–1985. I was in 10th grade at the time. We ended up pulling over somewhere around the Maryland/D.C. area and taking a long nap from all the lighter and pot smoking going on in the crowd. It didn’t matter what was in the pipe as long as it was being refilled and passed around. I was still high when I arrived. I must have smelt great when I got home the next morning. “Morning mom and dad, I’m going to sleep right now. Save me some bacon!” — Brian Werking (Exmortis)

That was too many bong hits ago, haha! When I got HEAVEN AND HELL and listened to it stoned for the first time! It was in my bedroom. — Patrick Ranieri (Hellwitch)

Unfortunately I did not get a chance to meet Ronnie. For me one of the coolest experiences was receiving a call from Wendy Dio 2 days before I was suppose to leave to Europe with Agent Steel to perform at the Bang Your Head Festival and Graspop Festival, and she asked me to be part of the Rock/Metal compilation “We Wish You a Metal Xmas” album which features Ronnie James Dio singing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” I got to play guitar on the compilation on the song “Santa’s Back in Town” The album features Ronnie James Dio and Geoff Tate, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Chuck Billy, Dave Grohl, Lemmy, and many other awesome musicians. I also was fortunate to attend Ronnies memorial ceremony when he passed away and was completely blown away by all the banners from all over the world that were placed inside the hall; the rock/metal loves Ronnie James Dio and his legacy will be with us forever. — Juan Garcia (Agent Steel)


Being a musician, you get to a point where meeting your idols really doesn’t mean anything anymore. Having said that, every musician harbours a couple of idols they would still like to meet and I got that chance on Black Sabbath’s “Dehumanizer” tour. Tony Iommi was not there unfortunately after the show, but I did get to meet the immortal Ronnie James Dio. Just as everyone has ever described him, the man was a total gentleman, very down to earth and accomodating to everyone in his presence. I have an old beat up guitar case with broken hinges that I refuse to throw out because it has that DEHUMANIZER pass stuck on it. — Rob Urbinati (Sacrifice)

We opened for Heaven and Hell in the states the spring of 2007. He would stop by and say hello and talk about everything from the NBA playoffs to philosophy. i decided to tell him about the times I’d listen to Neon Knights while stealing cars as a teenager. He went on to tell me about how he stole cars as a youth and was the getaway driver for some of his friends as they ripped off stores!! — Phil Demmel (Machine Head)

In the mid-90’s the mainstream media and people in general completely ignored traditional metal, with the occassional exception in the form of sheer ridicule. Being a metal head was as uncool as farting in a crowded elevator, so most bands associated with the 80’s quit the music business or tried moving in different musical directions. During those years, I saw Dio live twice. Both venues were very small, the crowds were drunk and rowdy, and no one would have blamed Ronnie if he would have said “OK, this is below my standards, I won´t do this”. But he went on and put on awesome shows, giving 100%. In my mind that made him come across as extremely professional, yet down to earth. Seeing him in front of huge festival crowds 10-15 years later made me feel like he finally had his revenge, his pay-off for sticking to his guns and treating his fans well. — Martin Forssman (Press manager, Sweden Rock Festival/Business manager, Sweden Rock Magazine Business manager, Sweden Rock Shop General manager, Sweden Rock Cruises)

I was sixteen when I went with some friends down to Charlotte to see Dio on the ‘Strange Highways’ tour. I remember Love/Hate and Godspeed opened. After the show me and my friends went around to the back of the venue where we found the typical scene of people hanging out with armloads of vinyl, posters, dollar bills, and whatever else they could get signed. Well the people I was with knew the rock “scene’ a bit so what were treated pretty well and hung out with Jeff Pilson and Vinnie. I still trip out on that night remembering Pilson and how he basically came to hang out with us. (laugh) Bear in mind that I was not familiar with hanging with bands and such back then so I was taken aback by all of this. All I knew is this guy was in Dokken and that is pretty damn rockin. Meanwhile Dio had appeared and a crowd formed around him of course. He stood outside and talked with everyone, signed everything, and posed for pictures. At this time I was now sitting on a car kind of behind him just waiting for the crowd to continue thinning out. My friends were still over goofing off with tracy and Jeff at this point. And when the last couple of people said good night and walked away Ronnie turned around to see me sitting on the car. “Hi Jeremy how are you” he said. Hi Ronnie, can I call you Ronnie? I replied. “Why certainly” he said. Ronnie where do you get the power I asked. Yes I know it seemed cheesy question. He then rolled out his hand as if he was going to present the appearance of some sort of magical orb and he replied, “well Jeremy it comes from the soul”. And at that moment it was like some kind of surreal Warren Beatty film or something. Nothing else seemed to be around us just he and I were in this world, that single moment that seemed to last so long. That was all I remember from that meeting. On the trip home that night I kept thinking of the meeting and I said to my friend Doug who was driving, “he knew my name and I never introduced myself”. Doug looked up into the rearview mirror back at me and replied, “That is because Dio is magic”. And that is how my first meeting with Dio went down. — Jeremy Golden (Heaven and Hell Records)


I have played together with Dio with my own band Necrodeath at one festival in Italy called Tradate festival. Unfortunately I didn´t get a chance to meet Ronnie in person as he arrived so late to the venue, and went onstage almost right after he got to the festival area. I saw him performing very close though, and admired his fantastic and amazing voice as well as his whole charisma that he carried through the entire set when performing together with the rest of the band mates. Ronnie was really awesome onstage. — Peso (Necrodeath/Ghostrider)

It was in Italy at a festival, when I saw the whole show from side of the stage. Ronnie and his wife were really friendly to us and did not kick the bunch of drunk musicians from the stage. I remember Jon from Dissection was among us and we had such a great party. You got to know that usually big stars like him, do not allow other bands on stage during their set! Ronnie came to cheer with us during the set and treated us like friends. Unforgetable cause he’s one of my youth idiols! Same was in Wacken one year later, his dressing room was next to ours and he was always up for a chat and a picture with fans & friends! — Schmier (Destruction)

Definitely when Icarus Witch opened for Heaven And Hell in Cleveland last year. It was the ultimate honor to be privileged enough to play a set of original music, so obviously inspired by Ronnie & the Sabbath guys, right before they took the stage. Best show ever, and we treated so respectfully by the band and crew. Such a class act. — Jason Myers (Icarus Witch)

Heaven & Hell 2007 – Having never been fortunate enough to see Dio back in the day, I was truly overwelmed to see the 2007 Heaven & Hell show in Melbourne, Australia. I remember how it was a show I almost didn’t catch. Black Majesty had just played Wacken in Germany. It was our last show of the tour so we rushed back to Oz on a plane and just made the show! Very cool! — Steve Janevski (Black Majesty)

My definitive experience would have to be the only time I got to see him – At Entertainment Centre back when Holy Diver came out — Mat Maurer (Mortal Sin)

There’s two: firstly actually saying hello to him as he walked to the stage at Bang Your Head 2005, and hanging out with all of the band for the rest of the night. That meeting led us to having Craig Goldy contribute a guest solo to our last album “Set In Stone” in fact. Secondly, seeing Heaven And Hell perform in my town. We’d just finished our “Ascendence” album where I’d killed myself working on it non-stop, so as thanks the other guys got me a front row ticket. Being just metres away from the exact lineup that got me into metal was magical. The entire band was on fire that night too, and hearing them play songs from the “Live Evil” album – the album that really started it all off for me – was unforgettable. — Lord Tim (Lord)


I got to see the man himself in a live setting one time and that was when Heaven and Hell came through over here with Alice Cooper. Alice kicked ass as usual and when Heaven and Hell hit the stage, it was nothing short of amazing. Ronnie sounded just as killer as ever if not more so. Just like the records. Pure metal vocal perfection. Of course I had no idea that it would be the last time he would come around and I’m very pleased that I got to witness the show. It was proof that there is a definite magic in metal and I wish I could be there again as I write this. Thankfully I have all those great albums with him on them to go to time and time again. R.I.P. to a true master! — Chris Reifert (Autopsy)

I had the chance to tour with Ronnie when I was with Alice Cooper … The summer bill was Queenryche / Alice Cooper / Heaven & Hell. For 2 months I got to hear him sing and have a couple of friendly hello’s backstage. On the final night of the tour he signed a poster to me that said “Jason, you are magic” I’ll never forget him. — Jason Hook (Five Finger Death Punch/ ex- Alice Cooper, Vince Neil)

I met Ronnie, along with Gord Prior and Freddie Johnson, at The Embassy years ago when he played there. The place and stage was very small and crammed with gear, but Ronnie rocked it like it was a Stadium! After the show, the bar was cleared out and Ronnie came in to have a drink at the bar. He invited us to hang with him and have some drinks before he takes off. He was the nicest guy ever, and even after an hour of drinking, he still shook my hand as he was leaving and said “Great to meet you Rob!” I couldn’t believe he still remembered my name! — Rob MacEachern (Cool Claws ex Helix / Sven Gali)

Dio and Alice Cooper performed together on a festival date in Belgium in 2006. My bass player Chuck Garric played in Ronnie’s band at one time. So of course we get the full dressing room hook-up to meet Ronnie and his guys. Ronnie was one of those rare people that looked you

straight in the eyes when he spoke to you, or when he was listening to you. Over the course of the next hour, he asked far more questions of me (simply in the spirit of good conversation) than I did of him; he was completely soulful, warm, and kind. I’ll never, ever forget that experience. — Damon Johnson (Alice Cooper / ex-Slave To the System/Whiskey Falls/Brother Cane)

I had the good timing of running into Ronnie at a pub by himself in Toluca Lake California where my band was recording a record at the time with Andy Johns. The pub was empty and we (The Band) Andy Johns and Ronnie all sat and told stories and drank pints. That’s a bunch of rock lads having a good ole time. — Darrell Dwarf Millar ( Dwarfs)

It happens everytime I through on a record and get lost in that incredible voice and those majestic songs. — Sean Kelly (Crash Kelly/Nelly Furtado/ex-Helix)

Backstage at the old CNE grounds in Toronto when we were opening for him in the mid 80’s. As he did with many of his openers, he greeted us as we were going on, wished us a good show and stood side stage for the first few songs of our set. Then made a point of stopping by our dressing room after our set to say it was a good show….a real class act. — Daryl Gray (Helix)

My first and only Dio experience has been at his concert at “Alcatraz” here in Milan, Italy. I had the chance to see the soundcheck and it was amazing. Seeing that little man on stage with this huge voice was unbelievable and magic. Honestly the loudest voice level I’ve heard on a stage ever. — Andrea Ferro (Lacuna Coil)

The definitive Dio experience took place pretty much every night we were on touring with him and Alice Cooper. It was when he got up on stage EVERY night and just sang his heart out. I would always go to the front of house to hear him sing. I was always amazed at the pure power that came out of this guys throat….unbelievable! — Ryan Roxie (Casablanca/Roxie 77/ex-Alice Cooper)

I had the pleasure of meeting Ronnie in 83 at a record(Yes Records~!) signing, that was great for the young metal kid I was~! But in 2007 when We (Alice Cooper) toured with Heaven & Hell, that was just insane to hear and watch him every night. — Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper)


I have two actually haha, I remember playing Rainbow in the Dark and Heaven and Hell in a one off cover band for a battle of the bands when I was maybe 12 or 13. My definitive Dio experience though would have to be singing along with my mom at like age 6 or 7 to Dio in the car and head banging. — Nathan Lane (Blitzkid)

Physically I’d have to say any time, any place. When I listen to any of those four first albums, it mentally brings me back to the feeling of what I heard and felt when I was introduced to Heavy Metal the first time. — Janne Perttilä (Barren Earth)

Sadly, I never had the good fortune of seeing Dio live. However, I love seeing footage of him and watching/hearing his interviews. He certainly seemed truly genuine, and despite his enormous fame, he always seemed very appreciative of his fans and supporters. Many people could learn a lot from this man’s character, what a class act he was. He lives on….everyday with his great music. So, every time I crank his tunes, it’s always great experience. — Todd La Torre (Crimson Glory)

Saw them in Vancouver a few years ago and got to meet him. — Kenny Hallman (Infernal Majesty)

That was the couple times I got the immense honor of meeting him. I’m not sure of the date but I’m guessing about a year or so before the Dio Black Sabbath re-union of Heaven & Hell. I currently don’t recall the name of the place but it was at a little club at least an hour drive north of Los Angeles. Walking in, the music playing there was the Heaven And Hell album in it’s entirety. I thought meeting Dio would be quick but he made me feel welcomed to hang out with him and I did. After speaking with him for a while, he invited me to hang out again the next night at a club called the Viper Room in Hollywood. I am very glad I got the opportunity to let him know how much his music will always mean to me. I know he was very proud of his collaboration with Black Sabbath so it was really fulfilling to see him get back together with Heaven & Hell before he passed away. The masterpieces and live shows, it certainly was a pleasure Ronnie… — Rick Cortez (Sadistic Intent)

Unfortunately I can’t say that I have ever had the chance to meet the man. A memory that stands out would be my first listen to Black Sabbath’s “Live Evil” double record set. A friend introduced me to both albums in one sitting. Though that doesn’t sound very eventful, it was one of those moments that changed the direction of my life. That experience had a huge part in my decision to dedicate my life to music; it was that point where I figured out that THIS is what I want to do. — Brad Gentry (Natu Sabverata)

My definitive Dio experience is not a single moment…rather it is something that happens almost each and every day…when I’m not playing in “Natu” I work at a tattoo shop and everyday were pretty much listening to just about every day “Holy Diver” will be played….and almost everybody starts singing under their breath or loud and proud…but everybody knows it and everybody has been affected by it in some way. — Jacob Edwards (Natu Sabverata)

I most definitive moment was not a good one again it was back in high school when Mark broke the news to me that Dio left Sabbath, It was heart breaking I was never going to see them together live, they were in my opinion at that time the band that was back on the heavy metal rise and no one was as good as them and that Includes Maiden and Priest who were probable were at the top of their game at that point. That truly was a crushing moment for me and left me angry as to why it happened but being in a band now I know why things happen and bands break up. — Branko Zugaj (Overlord CAN)

Never had the pleasure to meet him but from what I’ve been told he was a very nice guy who didn’t wear his awesomeness like badge. — Dan Dunphy (Core Device)

I was blessed to see Sabbath at Lebanon valley speedway at an outside racetrack when I was maybe 16 I will never forget it because someone was killed while walking over a bridge near the venue — Malcolm “Mania” Lovegrove (Blacksmith)

Oddly enough it wasn’t any of the several times seeing him in concert but it was when I bought “Holy Diver” on cassette. It was the early 90’s. I was a death metal kid so I had to make up for lost time and acquaint myself with the classics. My girflfriend at the time had a used record store by her house so I picked it up after hanging out all afternoon doing what teenagers do. It was a long drive home on an October night and I was sucked into the album. It was a real cool exciting time in my life and I just remember that album being a big part of the atmosphere then. Certain music just becomes part of you and that album is definitely on my list of “landmark” moments. — Scott Waldrop (Twisted Tower Dire)

OK I went and seen Dio years ago when he was touring for The Last in Line tour and we were right up there on the front row dead center and during the song “Man on the Silver Mountain” he pointed right at me and said “You are the Man” and threw me the devil horns, well it might sound cheesy and all but at my age and growing up on Dio it meant the world to me, many years later I caught another Dio show and it was in a small club and had the honer of talking with the man for a few minutes and I have to say, he was just as kind hearted as everyone says he is, memories that I will have forever… — Steve Bentley (Ancient Creation)

Ahh yes, I remember this one well. It was at the ‘Killing The Dragon’ tour with Hammerfall. It was 2002, and we were at a club in Minneapolis, MN called ‘The Quest’. As the show was going rather well, some knucklehead standing next to me in the balcony area, decided it would be a great idea to throw a beer at Ronnie! Missed him with it, but, it was enough to make Dio stop right in the middle of the song and go after this guy. It was almost erie to a point, the way he silenced the crowd instantly. I have never seen this type of power out of a frontman ever. EVER!!! Anyhow, you could hear a pin drop amongst 400 people, as Dio questioned this guy about what his problem was. Then, Dio sent his security up to us, they grabbed this guy and took him down in front of Ronnie and the whole crowd. Chewed this dude out, slapped him around some(the security dudes did) and then they promptly threw him out on his ass! The best concert I have seen! That is my definitive experience. — Steve Handel (Seventh Calling)

Meeting him when we toured with Rainbow `Back to Earth` tour. Graham Bonnet was the vocalist for that album, but Dio came to one of the gigs and hung out. My lasting impression was how the hell does that huge voice come from inside this short, unassuming likeable person? — Thunderstick (Thunderstick / Samson)

How will you always remember the immortal Ronnie James Dio?

I think he was a very gifted man… singing was easy for him… just came natural to him… great tone … great power… great melodic sense in his voice… most people will remember his amazing voice… if they did not get to meet him in person. In person he was a real guy I think. At home when I stayed with him and his cat and dog… he was a very real cool guy. Very funny and liked to have fun. We used to play a lot of Pac-man. He had his own game like the one they have at the arcade, but his you did not have to put any money in it. We would play it all night.. too cool…

— Tracy G (DIO)

I met Dio in person once in Helsinki very quickly, at Tuska festival’s backstage area a few years ago. He was very kind and seemed down-to-earth kind of person. He is without a doubt one of the greatest singers of Heavy Metal/Rock’n’Roll of all times. I’m glad we have still his music around us. — Tomi Koivusaari (Amorphis)

On stage singing and doing the Devil Sign with that evil look in his eye! That’s an awesome idea you have for this, I am proud to be a part of it!!! — Mike Browning (After Death/ex-Nocturnus/Morbid Angel/Incubus/Acheron)

Another great question… I will always remember RJD for his creativity and eagerness to share with the public what he feels. If a musician isn’t fully into a project then he should just get out of it. Ronnie, he just kept on going for years. RJD was a pioneer of his time which history would not doubt. He was a legendary inspiration for a lot of us old-school Metal heads as well and I don’t think any of us would say otherwise. He helped the underground scene before it became popular without even knowing it. I bow to you RJD and I hope you rest in peace. — Brian Werking (Exmortis)

Hmmm… maybe the little metal elf with the golden voice!! Really, the most astounding part is that he sounds like a GIANT METAL GOD! HE IS A GIANT METAL GOD! I will always BOW for him! — Patrick Ranieri (Hellwitch)

I will remember Ronnie James Dio as not only one of the greatest metal singers of all time, but as an inspiration. Ronnie and Wendy Dio started a foundation in Los Angeles for homeless called “Children of the Night” which is really a great thing; I’ve heard stories of him signing autographs and thanking people for coming to his shows which is just purely awesome. — Juan Garcia (Agent Steel)

Being a part of some of my most treasured musical moments ever recorded, through memories of Sacrifice travelling across North America listening to Rainbow RISING over and over… although it may not be immediately evident, Ronnie has been a huge inspiration and influence to me personally. Especially as I have left my youth behind, watching Dio sing “Sign Of The Southern Cross” in his mid sixties as flawlessly as he did 30 years prior… there is nothing more inspirational. — Rob Urbinati (Sacrifice)

As the king of rock/metal. he was generous, caring, commanded respect from his diminutive stature. He would remember everyone in the band, their wives,friends, crew etc., everyone’s name. he was incredible. I miss him and the metal world will miss his leadership. — Phil Demmel (Machine Head)

Immortal is definitely the right word. Ronnie didn´t die in May 2010, he is just not physically present anymore. I will remember him as a devoted and extremely professional singer, a humble man always taking time for his fans, a writer of a lot of great music and the man who gave us the metal sign. Few people have been as important to rock history as Ronnie, and I´m sure he will keep influencing the scene for many years to come. — Martin Forssman (Press manager, Sweden Rock Festival/Business manager, Sweden Rock Magazine Business manager, Sweden Rock Shop General manager, Sweden Rock Cruises)


I’ll always remember Dio by the Murray and Heaven and Hell album cover tattooed on my arm. Dio was much more than a celebrity or rock star. He is power, he is magic. As long as there are stars to gaze upon and people believe he is eternal. — Jeremy Golden (Heaven and Hell Records)

As one of the nicest and coolest REAL Metalstars that I did ever meet! And I meet or toured with lost of the big names in the business! His voice still makes me shiver and will live forever! He was one of a kind not only vocal wise. — Schmier (Destruction)

I will always remember him from the first time I met him back in 1994. I was working at a club in North Miami that had booked Dio on the Strange Highways tour so I got to buy the cabernet for his rider and watch the show from the side of the stage. True metal was at an all time low but Dio was soldiering on, playing the club circuit. After the show, he just wanted to go from the venue to his bus, but there was a group of fans standing in back alley wanting autographs and photos. Ever the gracious one, Ronnie took the time to meet every person, listened to every story, signed autographs and shook hands, right there next to the dumpster. It was befitting of his legacy as a man of the people. When metal rebounded and Dio was once again headlining huge theaters and festivals, I’m sure those other die hards that were standing in that hot, stinking alley meeting god have the same feelings I do. He was the chosen one. — Jason Myers (Icarus Witch)

R.J.D. was always the pioneer of ‘METAL’. Albums such as Rising, Heaven & Hell, Holy Diver and Last In Line are all classics! He will forever remembered as the definitive ‘God of Metal’. — Steve Janevski (Black Majesty)

RIP little elf! — Mat Maurer (Mortal Sin)

Ronnie was an icon that pretty much all metal fans looked up to, regardless of what tastes in metal subgenres you preferred. An incredible talent and so gracious to his fans. I’ll openly admit that I cried the day he passed away because it really felt like I’d lost a companion that had been there with me from the start, someone I’d looked up to and respected, and someone who you just sort of expected would just be there forever. A true legend. — Lord Tim (Lord)

I will remember Ronnie as one of the greatest singers there ever was, and one of the nicest guys I have ever met! — Rob MacEachern (Cool Claws ex Helix / Sven Gali)

Like everyone else I’ll remember that he was the best rock singer of all time. Of all time. — Damon Johnson (Alice Cooper / ex-Slave To the System/Whiskey Falls/Brother Cane)

As being mild mannered and a true rock n roll gentlemen. On stage being a short in stature man, that looked rock godly and 10 feet tall on stage and could rattle any cage with those pipes. — Darrell Dwarf Millar ( Dwarfs)

As the greatest heavy metal vocalist of our time, and as my favourite singer in any genre. — Sean Kelly (Crash Kelly/Nelly Furtado/ex-Helix)

Watching him on stage at The Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto with Heven And Hell in 09….He was so personable as a front man that you couldn’t help but be drawn in and when he opened his mouth to sing it was as if an angel had been cast out of heaven to ensnare us with is enchanted tales….RIP Mr. Dio. — Daryl Gray (Helix)

His music will be with me forever and I will always have a good laugh at his cameo in “The Pick Of Destiny” movie. — Andrea Ferro (Lacuna Coil)

I’ll remember RJD always, because he always remembered me… years after doing a tour with me I saw him backstage at a concert, and he came up to me and said, ‘Ryan Roxie, great to see you again’… for a guy that’s met thousands of fellow rock n rollers, his uncanny ability to remember faces and names, and make them feel as important as he was, was a special gift. — Ryan Roxie (Casablanca/Roxie 77/ex-Alice Cooper)

Really just that he truly loved music and would give 1,000% nightly to bring it to the kids.. Theres something to be said for that. — Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper)

I think of Dio every time I see those horns in the air when I’m on stage! — Nathan Lane (Blitzkid)

Anything I can put down to words seem to understate the meaning his voice and his music had on Heavy Metal, as well as myself personally. As a musician and performer with true substance never relying on fashion and frills, he’ll always be the type of figure the world seems to be ever so desperately lacking. — Janne Perttilä (Barren Earth)

I will always remember Ronnie Dio as one of the true metal vocalists of all time!!!! There are only a few that of his caliber and have the credentials to back it up. His fans all over the world will always honor him, and rock/metal music will always pay tribute to him in some form or fashion. Other great vocalists will come and go, but this man was a true one of a kind. Thankfully we can still feel his spirit with the lifetime of great music he has captured for all of us to share! — Todd La Torre (Crimson Glory)

Well, he was one of a kind in voice and style, I guess that’s why so many other musicians loved to play with him. A true pro. — Kenny Hallman (Infernal Majesty)

With total respect… To quote Ronnie James Dio, “I’m gonna burn in Hell with all of you” was a figure of speech. He proved to me that just because you don’t believe in God, you don’t have to be an asshole. Having met him, not only was he an amazing artist, he was an amazing person, total class. On top of all that, he was Metal till death! Long live Ronnie James Dio!!! — Rick Cortez (Sadistic Intent)

I will remember Ronnie James as one of, if not the most talented and influential singers in heavy metal history. A simple statement would be: He is, was, and will always be Ronnie James Dio. What more can or should be said? The name alone speaks volumes, there will never be another. — Brad Gentry (Natu Sabverata)

I will always remember DIO as a pioneer of modern day metal in a time where nobody had to put a “core” at the end of their name to be original….DIO was metal….Horns up!!! — Jacob Edwards (Natu Sabverata)

I did get to see them before he passed away on the Heaven and Hell tour which was a huge defining moment for me, to say I saw my favorite unit of all time back together again and I will never forget it and thats how I will always remember him, onstage as the member of the greatest heavy metal band of all time Black Sabbath. — Branko Zugaj (Overlord CAN)

He was like dark matter, a little man in size but larger than life essence, and if you opened it up the world would be destroyed. — Dan Dunphy (Core Device)

As everyone’s “Metal Dad”. He was universally loved by everyone in the genre. You’d see interviews with him and he was so genuine and friendly you just knew he didn’t have a bad bone in his body. His passing gave us all a real honest sense of loss because he was such a powerful and endearing spirit. — Scott Waldrop (Twisted Tower Dire)

Being a vocalist I have a great connection with the great singer that Dio was, his range and technique were amazing and his writing style of things on the Darkside or shady sides of life always pushed me to becoming a performer the same way, writing evil or horror based topics and pushing my vocals in a way to be similar but in my own style, the man was a great artist and this world will miss a true legend, and its a shame that the future generation of artist and metal bands won’t get to see the man live or have the opportunity to talk to a true legend, I am blessed in both ways !! Long Live Dio !!! — Steve Bentley (Ancient Creation)

I will always remember Dio as the most charismatic, true, and powerful frontman to ever entertain the world, and as the man who ‘everything he worked on turned to gold’. We have an unbelievable account of his life of music in the great legacy he has given to the world. He will be remembered as the BEST. PLAIN AND SIMPLE! — Steve Handel (Seventh Calling)

Sword and Sorcery personified with the voice of an angel or demon depending on the material he was delivering. — Thunderstick (Thunderstick / Samson)


Please make a donation to the Ronnie James Dio “STAND UP AND SHOUT CANCER FUND.”

Make your checks or money orders payable to: The Ronnie James Dio “Stand Up

And Shout Cancer Fund” and send them to the Niji Entertainment Group,

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The Ronnie James Dio “Stand Up And Shout” Cancer Fund Program Description

The fund is committed to the early detection and prevention of cancer through facilitating access to medical screening and medical educational programs.

The fund supports programs designed to integrate medical knowledge into local communities such as cancer screening programs, education on nutrition in cancer prevention, exercise and overall wellness.”

The goal of the fund is to reduce the risk of developing life threatening cancers by offering

access to preventative medical services.”

Furthering the commitment for patients to access to quality medical care related to cancer, the fund seeks to assist families burdened by the cost of caring for loved ones with cancer.“

“You are the strongest chain and not just some reflection” -Ronnie James Dio