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 RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P

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MessageSujet: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Dim 16 Mai - 23:48

RONNIE JAMES DIO Passes







It is with great sadness that we report the passing of legendary singer RONNIE JAMES DIO (BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, RAINBOW) who lost his battle with stomach cancer today at the age of 67. His wife/manager Wendy Dio has updated the Dio website with the following:

"Today (May 16th) my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever."

You can leave your condolences on Facebook.

Dio remembered in photos here.

Longtime BW&BK scribe Mark Gromen has offered the following:

It seemed like he'd be there forever, but now goes the sad news Ronnie James Dio has passed to the other side of life's rainbow. One of metal's true ambassadors, in Rainbow, Heaven & Hell/Black Sabbath and his own outfit, he launched countless careers and turned millions more onto the musical form we all love. The first time I saw him perform was at the old Syria Mosque, in Pittsburgh. A college radio DJ, Holy Diver was a staple of my hand-picked playlist. So when the tour bypassed Cleveland, a buddy and I hit the road, to see the diminutive man with a giant voice. Years later, on the Lock Up The Wolves tour, and then again for Dehumanizer, we met after he headlined the intimate outdoor venue Nautica, right on the river of downtown Cleveland. Soft spoken and always taking time for the fans, many of whom inanely ask the same questions one after the other. In the days before artists lined their pockets with extra cash, thanks to charging for "meet & greet" session, Dio made each feel special (when he really didn't need to spend SO much time) and never a cross word. Prior to the Heaven & Hell reformation, would still try to see Dio when he came through town (even if some of the albums were weak), as the back catalog is beyond reproach. In the last few years, be in H&H at the house of Blues in Atlantic City, or overseas, at Bang Your Head festival and Wacken, it was as close to royalty as metal fans are likely to get. Revered (if not downright loved) universally, band members, as well as fans all want a photo with Dio, an autograph, or just the chance to say hello. Hopefully you had the pleasure. His music, horned salute and influence will live on. Long live Ronnie Dio!
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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Dim 16 Mai - 23:49

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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Dim 16 Mai - 23:49

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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 0:04

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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 0:07

TWISTED SISTER, IMMORTAL, AL ATKINS, REDEMPTION, CATHOLICON Members Comment On Passing Of RONNIE JAMES DIO



Legendary singer RONNIE JAMES DIO (BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, RAINBOW) lost his battle with stomach cancer today (May 16th) at 7:45 AM at the age of 67:

Members of TWISTED SISTER, IMMORTAL, AL ATKINS, REDEMPTION, CATHOLICON have offered up their thoughts below:

TWISTED SISTER: "The members of Twisted Sister along with millions of metal fans around the world mourn the death of our friend Ronnie James Dio. Ronnie not only was a giant in the world wide metal scene, but he was also one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. Beginning in 1983 when we first toured with Ronnie in Canada, and continuing over the last 7 years when we played dozens of festivals around the world, Ronnie was one of the most supportive and gracious members of the music community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Wendy and Ronnie's family."

IMMORTAL: "Today is a heavy day, as we mourn the passing of the mighty Ronnie James Dio."

AL ATKINS (ex-JUDAS PRIEST): "Yes the incredible has happened. The world today lost one of the greatest vocalists on the Planet. Al and the band would like to pass on their condolences to Wendy and the rest of the Dio clan. Ronnie's music will live on forever. Rest in peace Ronnie. God bless."

CATHOLICON's Blasphyre: "What started off as a great Sunday turned horrible as soon as I turned on my computer. The internet was rife with a false rumor of Ronnie James Dio's death yesterday, which I thankfully got to the bottom of and ignored; only to find out that he did in fact pass away the very next day around 7:45 AM this morning. Dio and Tony Martin were what made me love Black Sabbath (never as big of a fan of the Oz man, sorry!); and Dio was by far the best lyricist and had the best stage presence. I never got to see him with Sabbath or Heaven & Hell (which I truly consider to be the real Black Sabbath); but I count myself lucky to have at least seen him with DIO in the 1990's and got to hear him sing Rainbow in the Dark and Evilution at least once live. This sucks. Horrible news. Dio was the coolest and most down to earth of the Black Sabbath vocalists. Not pompous or brain dead or trying to turn himself into a household brand name like his predecessor (sorry again, Ozzy fans), and he was supremely talented in every respect. This just fucking sucks. What can people do but keep making music in his honor. Rest in Peace, Ronnie."

REDEMPTION's Nick van Dyk: "I lost a musical hero today, and the news has hit me harder than I thought it would. Ronnie James Dio was one of the first concerts I saw, and Holy Diver one of the first records I bought once I started liking this thing called "heavy metal." Over the years, I have seen him perform more than anyone else (with the exception of my friends in DREAM THEATER, given our tour together!) and the past several times I've seen him with Black Sabbath have been truly phenomenal.

I was hoping that Ronnie would be able to perform a guest vocal on a future Redemption CD, and the vocal line I had in mind for him was an expression of triumph over cancer. Obviously, this takes on a horrible irony now. And given my own diagnosis, obviously I'm particularly attuned to what Ronnie endured.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Ronnie's family and friends. The world of heavy metal has lost its voice. Rest in peace, Ronnie."
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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 0:13

MEGADETH Drummer Shawn Drover On Death Of RONNIE JAMES DIO - "If You Are Lucky Enough In Your Lifetime To Meet One Of Your Idols, That Is Something You Would Truly Treasure"



MEGADETH drummer Shawn Drover has offered the following thoughts on the passing of legendary singer RONNIE JAMES DIO (BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, RAINBOW) who lost his battle with stomach cancer today (May 16th) at 7:45 AM at the age of 67:

"I am at an absolute loss right now upon hearing that Ronnie has passed away. I had the pleasure of touring both Canada and America in 2007 when Megadeth toured with Heaven & Hell (Black Sabbath in my eyes) and I swear to you he is one of the nicest human beings I have ever met, period. Many a night on that tour, Glen and myself would have amazing conversation's 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 (Drover - brother/former Megadeth/KING DIAMOND guitarist) 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."
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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 0:15

GLENN HUGHES - "RONNIE Was A True Leader Of Heavy Metal... An Icon And A Visionary"


GLENN HUGHES (ex-DEEP PURPLE, Black Sabbath) has offered the following thoughts on the passing of legendary singer RONNIE JAMES DIO (BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, RAINBOW) who lost his battle with stomach cancer today (May 16th) at 7:45 AM at the age of 67:

"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.

Someday 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."
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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 17:07

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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 17:14

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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 17:15

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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 21:44

Message from Wendy Dio


Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.
- Wendy Dio

You can leave your condolences on Facebook
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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 22:06

ONSLAUGHT, GRAHAM BONNET, ELVENKING, GIRLSCHOOL, Earsplit PR Pay Respect To RONNIE JAMES DIO



ONSLAUGHT's Nige Rockett, GRAHAM BONNET, ELVENKING, GIRLSCHOOL, and Earsplit PR have issued the following statements regarding the passing of legendary heavy metal singer RONNIE JAMES DIO (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, RAINBOW, ELF):

ONSLAUGHT's Nige Rockett - "The news of Ronnie's death is so very sad and a major loss to the world of metal... You may not quite understand the massive influence the great man had on Onslaught with us being a thrash metal band, but believe me he did.

We have all been huge huge fans for as long as we can remember. His voice would send shivers down the spine, beautiful and yet so immensely powerful... one of my favourite all time songs is 'The Sign Of The Southern Cross'... the vocal is stunning and so perfect.

We were all looking forward to seeing Heaven & Hell and meeting up with Ronnie in August, when we were due to share the billing at this years Bloodstock Festival. Sadly this will not be.

Our deepest condolonces go out to Ronnie's family and the H&H guys. He will never be forgotten, his name and his incredible work will live forever. RIP Legend."

GRAHAM BONNET - "It was a horrible day yesterday. I want to thank him for being a good friend, and drawing the map for me, when I was in doubt of the role I would play in Rainbow. My musical background was so different from his but I listened and learned the way to be a replacement, as such and followed the master of hard rock singing, and the name he used to call me "Gray"...the only American that abbreviated my name that way...it was funny to hear... Thanks Ron!!... and Wendy I know will keep him in her heart forever.

My love goes out to him and his family... only one Ronnie!"

ELVENKING - "We wish to say goodbye to Ronnie James Dio. Of course he has been a great inspiration for us, both for his unique and incredible voice and for his works with Rainbow, Black Sabbath, his solo career and so on. The news of his disease some months ago and now of his death were a shock for all of us.

We didn't know you personally, but all you did for music and for us fans, is big enough to say that we will miss you deeply."

GIRLSCHOOL - "On behalf of all of Girlschool, R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio. You were a true rock and roll legend, you will be sorely missed. Our heart goes out to Ronnie and Wendy's family and friends at this sad time."

Earsplit PR - "Metal ....music in general... has lost one of the most amazing human beings of all time. Rest in eternal peace Ronnie James Dio. You will forever be missed but never forgotten."
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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 22:23

RONNIE JAMES DIO – Biographer MARTIN POPOFF Expresses His Condolences



Martin Popoff, author of biographies on RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH and DIO had this to say on the passing of immense metal legend Ronnie James Dio.

“Heavy metal has just lost its king, Ronnie James Dio. Sure, there will be more famous figures in hard rock that will pass, and the mainstream media will write about it and get it slightly wrong. But metalheads pride themselves on sussing out who is authentic, hard-working, pure of heart, creative and just the best to hang out with in any headbanging situation. And that was Ronnie. Despite his unparallel legacy, he was one of us, a headbanger.

One quick find memory of many. I remember being backstage with "Metal" Tim Henderson quite a time ago, one of the first times I met Ronnie, and through he comes, there he is right in front of us. A quick few words later, he’s off, and Tim and I just look at each other stunned and say, 'OK, did Ronnie James Dio just ask us if we had every thing we needed, and could he go get us a beer?!' It’s a little thing, but that was Ronnie. Time and time again after that, he made you feel like we were all in this together, the subconscious undercurrent being that we were all warriors defending a maligned music and given that we were all part of this embattled army, we had to treat each other with respect.

But as Henry Rollins would say, it’s the work. Once Ronnie had worked his way through 45s in the late ‘50s and THE ELECTRIC ELVES and ELF, well, he bound onto the metal scene and never stopped impressing a demanding heavy metal audience, yes, with his down-to-earth, upstate New York kindness but also with his regal voice, authoritative songcraft and lyrics of comfort for the misfit and downtrodden.

Indeed, in terms of material, rock-solid legacy, when all is said and done, I think most studiers of the form would agree that Ronnie was instrumental, alive and in command through no less than six of the most classic and timeless heavy metal albums of all time, namely Rising, Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll, Heaven And Hell, Mob Rules, Holy Diver and The Last In Line. And happy, hard-working, taking-nothing-for-granted Italian that he was, in between all that, Ronnie built a fortress of a catalogue that proved time and time again that he was heavy metal tried and true, earnest in forging quality metal with messages of sympathy and empathy being the life-rich bonus between the grooves. I have to chuckle about how being heavy was rarely something he felt he had to, ahem, trumpet. If you brought it up, he’d toss off with a laugh, something about not wanting to make wimpy music. But the thing with Ronnie, action spoke louder than his always gracious words – he just kept building a bricks and mortar bunker of weighty, anchored metal, and kept doing it until he was stricken. Teenager through to 67, the work ethic and more spectacularly, that roaring golden voice, never wavered.

Like I say, there will be more famous hard rockers taken from us, but no more famous a metalhead. Ronnie’s loss, in our – in his – community, is as big and as crushing as it gets, and this huge void is felt both because of the man’s accomplishments and because of his unanimously beloved stature in the eyes of the entire metal community.”
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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 22:25

IRON MAIDEN On RONNIE JAMES DIO Passing - "The World Has Lost An Irreplaceable Talent - One Of The Finest Human Beings You Could Ever Wish To Meet"






British heavy metal icons IRON MAIDEN have issued the following statement regarding the passing of legendary heavy metal singer RONNIE JAMES DIO (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, RAINBOW, ELF):

"It is with huge sadness we hear that Ronnie has lost his battle against stomach cancer, and our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife Wendy and family at this terrible time. From his earlier years in ELF, Black Sabbath and Dio, right through to his most recent days fronting Heaven and Hell, Ronnie, time and again, proved his genius as a frontman, always giving his all to his fans and his music. Ronnie was not only an incredibly gifted singer but also a wonderfully warm, intelligent and generous person and this shone through both on and off stage leaving a positive mark on everyone he came into contact with. A longstanding friend of Maiden, we played many shows together over the years and we will all miss him greatly.

The world has lost an irreplaceable talent and, first and foremost, one of the finest human beings you could ever wish to meet."
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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 22:31

WHITESNAKE's David Coverdale, QUEEN's Brian May, ARCH ENEMY, SKID ROW Comment On Passing Of RONNIE JAMES DIO






WHITESNAKE's David Coverdale, QUEEN's Brian May, ARCH ENEMY and SKID ROW have offered the following thoughts on the passing of legendary singer RONNIE JAMES DIO (BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, RAINBOW, ELF) who lost his battle with stomach cancer yesterday (May 16th) at 7:45 AM at the age of 67:

WHITESNAKE's David Coverdale - "So very sad to hear of Ronnie's passing... My thoughts, prayers and condolence to his family and friends."

QUEEN's Brian May - "It's a shock to hear that Ronnie has gone. Even though we had all known he was battling with cancer for some time, he was such a wiry fighter, and of such an amazingly optimistic nature, I think I assumed he would go on forever.

Read more from May at this location.

ARCH ENEMY - "Today is an immensely sad day for the heavy metal / hard rock community as we mourn the loss of one of the most amazing talents in the genre. Ever. A master of his craft and a true gentleman. Funny, smart and witty. He will be much missed by the Arch Enemy camp. Dio's voice will echo in eternity!"

SKID ROW - "Our best wishes go out to the family, friends and fans of Ronnie James Dio. He was an influence to all of us and will be greatly missed."



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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 22:53

KING DIAMOND Remembers RONNIE JAMES DIO









KING DIAMOND has issued the following statement in tribute to legendary singer RONNIE JAMES DIO (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, RAINBOW, ELF) who lost his battle with stomach cancer yesterday (May 16th) at 7:45 AM at the age of 67:

"It’s with a heavy heart that I pay my respects to Ronnie James Dio.

What an amazing singer and entertainer. Throughout my career, he has always been in my top 10 list of vocalists. The mystery and emotion in his vocal style always lured me in for more.

Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure to meet him in person, but fortunately I did have the extreme pleasure of experiencing his uncanny frontmanship in concert so many times I can’t even count it.

I saw him with Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and almost had one of my wishes fulfilled when Heaven & Hell asked King Diamond to go on tour with them in the USA last year. Unfortunately my back problems prevented that dream from coming true.

I always had the highest respect for him and he will forever have his music playing in my home.

My deepest sympathy goes out to Ronnie’s family. I WISH YOU A SAFE JOURNEY TO THE OTHER SIDE.

King Diamond."

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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 22:54

OVER THE RAINBOW Members Pay Tribute To RONNIE JAMES DIO


OVER THE RAINBOW members Greg Smith (Rainbow, 1994-1997), Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, 1980-1984), and Greg Smith (Rainbow, 1994-1997) have issued the following statements in tribute to legendary singer RONNIE JAMES DIO (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, RAINBOW, ELF) who lost his battle with stomach cancer yesterday (May 16th) at 7:45 AM at the age of 67:

"I have lost someone who I looked up to as a teenager and that person became my good friend. I shared many laughs, stories, drinks and good times with him on and off the road. Ronnie I will miss you terribly and always think fondly of the times we spent together and of your tremendous talent. Till we meet again my friend!" - Greg Smith

"Today we not only lost a legend but we lost a friend. Ronnie was a true gentleman of rock... always kind and giving. I was proud to know him... everyone he touched was raised higher. His energy and legacy will live on... and i ....as a fellow member of Rainbow... will continue to sing his praises and his songs. May God hold him in his hands...RIP." - Joe Lynn Turner

''I was very sad to hear of Ronnie's passing, he was one of the best singers and writers ever, and every time I saw him he was a total gentleman, he will be greatly missed but never forgotten.'' - Bobby Rondinelli
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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 23:09

MATS LEVÉN Remembers RONNIE JAMES DIO






Swedish singer Mats Levén (ex-YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, THERION) has issued the following statement regarding the passing of legendary heavy metal singer RONNIE JAMES DIO (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, RAINBOW, ELF):

"The first concert I ever went to was DEE PURPLE, playing in Gothenburg on the Stormbringer tour (March 21st, 1975)
Ritchie Blackmore had already recorded the first Rainbow album and this was his last tour with the Mark 3 lineup of Deep Purple.

I bought the first Rainbow album and when I heard Ronnie's voice I soon forgot about Deep Purple. The second album, Rising, is one of the important albums of my life and the song 'Stargazer' in particular.

Already then I felt the power and the passion coming out from his heart and lungs... this was something new and exciting to me. Ronnie's voice still amazes me.

Like many others I was disappointed when Ronnie left Rainbow, but instead I enjoyed the new material with Black Sabbath and I still rate some of that stuff the best metal songs of all time.

I'd never seen Ronnie live but in 1983 he did his first Dio show in Sweden at Draken in Stockholm and I finally got to see him. I remember there was a fight in the front row and Ronnie stopped the band in the middle of a song and sorted it all out.

SOUTHPAW supported Dio in Sweden in 1998 and I got to meet him, he was incredibly nice and a true gentleman - I treasure that memory. I was sneaking behind the monitor desk at one of his soundchecks and it was cool to hear his incredible voice from the monitors... no, it was like a PA on stage ha ha... it was very very loud.

After that I've seen him 3 - 4 times again with Dio, one memorable show was in Sao Paulo Brazil in 2004 before 6000 fans, they loved him.

Also saw 3 shows with Heaven & Hell, the first one at Sweden Rock in 2007 was without a doubt the best and also one of the few times that I had tears in my eyes at a concert. The impact of 'I' and 'Sign Of The Southern Cross' was incredible.

When I recorded with Cozy Powell in 1997, he told me some great stories and I was hoping that one day Ronnie, Cozy and Ritchie might reform the classic lineup.

That day in April 1998 when Cozy died was a sad one and now, those last 24 hours have been heartbreaking - our hero is gone but his voice and music will live forever.

My sincerest condolences to Ronnie's close one's, M."
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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 23:11

OPETH's Mikael Åkerfeldt Pays Tribute To RONNIE JAMES DIO



OPETH vocalist/guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt has issued the following statement regarding the passing of legendary heavy metal singer RONNIE JAMES DIO (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, RAINBOW, ELF):

"I saw the news last night and I hated them. Ronnie James Dio is gone.... I love him almost like a family member, and I feel empty and lonely knowing he’s not around anymore. He sits on my wall as he has since my family moved in here. Can’t bring myself to hear him sing right now, even though I think it might be comforting if I did.

I was fortunate enough to meet him and share a few drinks with him once, and it’s a memory I will treasure to the end of my days. He blew my mind quite honestly. Thank you RJD for everything!

Our collective condoleances goes out to his families and friends and the musicians that were fortunate enough to work with him. I was thinking about this for quite some time, and I think we can say for sure that even if he was taken from us too soon (100 years from now would’ve been to soon), I’m sure he felt happy with his life and what he had achieved. But it hurts though, it really fucking hurts... I can’t stop thinking about it.

There is a massive hole in my heart. Love you Ronnie. Rest in peace.

Your fan Mikael Åkerfeldt."
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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 23:25

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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 23:27

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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 23:27

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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 23:28

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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 23:34

Håkon Grav Remembers RONNIE JAMES DIO

Famed photographer/IMMORTAL manager Håkon Grav from Photograve Management has provided BraveWords.com a selection of RONNIE JAMES DIO photos in memory of the late singer. Shots include Ronnie and his lovely wife/manager Wendy and three recognizable characters; namely SEBASTIAN BACH, MICHAEL MONROE and DEE SNIDER
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MessageSujet: Re: RONNIE JAMES DIO R.I.P   Lun 17 Mai - 23:38

ICARUS WITCH Pay Tribute To RONNIE JAMES DIO





Jason Meyers from Pittsburgh metallers ICARUS WITCH has offered the following thoughts on the passing of legendary singer RONNIE JAMES DIO (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, RAINBOW, ELF) who lost his battle with stomach cancer yesterday (May 16th) at 7:45 AM at the age of 67:

"As the world mourns the passing of the ultimate singer and front man in hard rock and heavy metal history, I wanted to share a bit of how Ronnie James Dio has directly affected and shaped the creation and impact of Icarus Witch.

I have had the pleasure to see Ronnie perform in concert many times over the years including concerts with Dio, Black Sabbath and Heaven & Hell (my biggest regret is never being able to see him front the mighty Rainbow once again). In the 1990s, when true metal was so unhip in America that the legendary Dio was once again playing the night club circuit, I had the pleasure to meet him as he performed at a club called The Button South in North Miami where I was working as a production manager. What struck me that night was that he was giving the same power and energy to the few hundred faithful at that room as he did when I saw him leading thousands at at an arena a few years prior. After the show, rather than being whisked away like many "stars" that played the room, he actually stood in the parking lot behind the venue, between the trash dumpster and the tour bus and met with, talked to, took pictures with and signed autographs for every single person that wanted to reach out to him. A true man of the people.

Years later, when the concept for Icarus Witch was being crystallized, I could think of no better song to introduce this band to the world with and explain what kind of music and passion we were looking to bring back than "Falling Off The Edge Of The World." Our version of this gem from Sabbath's The Mob Rules became the very first song Icarus Witch would ever record and release back in 2004. This was on Evil Lives - A True Metal Tribute To Black Sabbath.

Fast forward to 2006, the band is now a few releases into our career and caught the attention of Diana DeVille, who works for Niji Management, the long time management company of Dio, run by his wife, Wendy Dio. Dianna and I became friends and she began managing Icarus Witch under the Golden Tower Entertainment moniker, a blessing that led us to such unique opportunities as getting endorsed by Dean Markley Strings and doing a meet & greet at their booth along with Dio and his band at the NAMM convention. Ultimately Dianna and Niji made our wildest childhood dreams come true when they invited Icarus Witch to open for Heaven & Hell! Everyone involved in that organization is so classy, professional and courteous, it was a true example of how Dio and his people could rise back to the top of the industry and still treat others at any level with the utmost respect.

Ronnie's musical inspiration is undeniable. My favourite quote that I've ever read about our band came in a piece that Britain's Metal Hammer magazine did on the resurgence of traditional metal where they said 'One of the best new bands to take up the NWOTM standard and carry it triumphantly into the future is Icarus Witch, a Pittsburgh [sic] based group that sound like Ronnie James Dio fronted Black Sabbath crash-landing in a JUDAS PRIEST gig." I took great pride in this compliment because I don't feel our vocalist at the time particularly sounded like Ronnie, but rather the writer was picking up on our overall vibe, energy and pacing.

Lyrically, Ronnie has no peer. He was a true magician with the pen. I can not think of another lyricist in history who could write so prolifically for one song, let alone a massive body of work spanning over 4 decades. He is the only one who could make every single line of a song sound like the type of profound prose that you would have carved as your epitaph. Lord knows how many school folders, restroom stalls and tattooed body parts have bore his poetic imagery over the years.

Yet beyond the obvious musical and lyrical inspirations we have borrowed from this master, the single largest source of inspiration comes from his character and fortitude. Think of the myriad trends and fads Dio has outlasted throughout his career. You're talking about everything from Flower Power to Disco to Hair Metal to Grunge to Nu Metal. As each era came and went, Ronnie got up on stage, threw the horns, cast his spell and belted out heart felt tales of rainbows, gypsies, dragons and mystery in THAT voice, the single most massive, instantly recognizable and commanding vocal snarl the world will ever hear. His Maloik was the ultimate middle finger to the trendy, fair weather music fans who did not have the heart to stick to their convictions. And when Ronnie took his final bow, he was once again on top of the world, playing, dark, heavy, epic rock music the way HE wanted to...for us, his legions. He is a god.

Like many die hard fans, I started getting texts as early as 2:30 in the morning, then these initial reports were thought to be unfounded and the world waited, confused and anxious. Yesterday at Icarus Witch's rehearsal when the rumors of his passing were confirmed, there was a strange, heavy pall over the session. Despite, or perhaps because of this, the band sounded more energized and powerful than ever and I think we feel better about respecting his legacy by throwing our passions into our music that much more as opposed to dwelling on the unfortunate inevitability's of a true evil like cancer.

Our deepest condolences to Wendy, Dianna and the family. Rest in peace Ronnie James Dio. We will carry your torch."
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