San Francisco, CA (Top40 Charts/ RoadRunner Records) - Dream
Theater drummer Mike Portnoy writes, "Rest in peace, Ronnie James
Dio... one of the greatest of all time. Looks like Dime, Randy, Cliff and Bonzo just scored the ultimate singer. This is one of the saddest days in metal ever."
Slipknot/ Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor tells Billboard.com that Dio was "one of the strongest, purist and consistent singers of all time. Ronnie sang like he lived - all out, from the heart, with so much honesty and joy. He was a great man with a smile and a handshake for fans and peers alike. He spoke his mind and stood his ground for decades. I will miss him dearly."
Killswitch Engage, who also spoke to Billboard.com, called Dio's passing "a very, very sad day in metal, and this one hits pretty hard. Dio was one of the greatest metal singers of all time. His soaring vocal lines even to this day, strike a chord in me that few other singers can come close to. Even in his old age, Dio rocked harder and more on point then 99% of the singers out there. He is truly a musician's musician; a model for the new school to aspire towards. A man who stuck to his guns, and played the type of music HE wanted to play...and extremely well at that!"
Trivium's Matt Heafy remembers a special meeting with Dio while on tour with Heaven & Hell in 2007, saying: "I've been able to meet many heroes of mine in my life, but few have made impression on me like Ronnie James. He greeted me not as a support bandmember, but he welcomed me as a fellow musician and performer. He gave me a hug, invited a couple of us into his room where we all sat and talked and drank wine together.
I remember our conversation crystal clear to this day. I told him how I met Bruce Dickinson on his BBC radio show and was asking Bruce about vocals and vocal techniques, and I shared with Dio that Bruce felt that I had started to develop my own vocal style and with work someday would further develop a stylistic similarity to Dio. Dio smiled and chatted about how he knew that Bruce was a fan of his voice, and from there we were able to just relax and talk shop about vocals and singing.
Although it was a quick visit, Ronnie made me feel at home and was a really sweet dude. He gave us props, we finished our wine, we hugged and said, 'See ya tomorrow.'
It was amazing that I received vocal coaching from quite possibly the greatest metal voice of all time. I am truly grateful for the time he gave me and his personal insight into our shared craft. For that I will always be thankful."
Upon hearing the news, Opeth's frontman writes, "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, Ronnie James Dio, for everything! Our collective condolences 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"
Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn writes, "Dio was a true gentleman. Machine Head had the opportunity to open for Heave & Hell in May of 2007, and having never met or toured with Ronnie James Dio, it was a HUGE honor for all of us. On the first night of the tour in Phoenix, Arizona we celebrated, uh, quite heavily, and though the Dio dressing was heavily fortified with an army of security, I somehow managed to bullshit my way in and say hello. He had no idea who I was, but acted like we were old friends. After that, he always made a point to poke his head in our dressing room and say 'hi,' or give Dave [McClain, drummer] shit about 'his San Antonio Spurs choking,' or sometimes just to give us a $100-dollar bottle of wine they were going leave in their dressing room. All class.
He was a powerhouse singer. Incredible tone, and grit. His voice onstage was FUCKING LOUD!! Shockingly loud!! We were lucky enough to watch from side stage almost nightly, and all of us were blown away by how loud his voice was.
His memory was staggering. He remembered my wife's name almost a year later, after only a brief one-minute introduction, and it charmed her to no end. He remembered my name a year after touring with him, in a crowd of people, without missing a beat, and asked how my kids were and kissed me on both cheeks when we said goodbye. I turned to my friend and was like, 'Dude, Dio just remembered my name and kissed me on the cheek, fuckin' High 5!!'
When my parents moved to Fremont, California as I began the seventh grade, it was a pretty lonely time for me. I became friends with a girl named Lori Kibby who played me the first heavy metal record I would ever hear. It was BLACK SABBATH's Heaven and Hell. It terrified me, enthralled me, captured me entirely. The imagery, the name, the title, it made me want to listen over and over and over again, in particular the songs
'Heaven and Hell,' 'Children Of The Sea' and 'Die Young.' My first garage band, (the awesomely-named INQUISITOR) covered 'Stand Up And Shout.'
Would I have found metal without him? Maybe. But man, I feel so very fortunate to have had Ronnie James Dio as my first guide into the awesome world of metal. Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything you've done for music, Ronnie. Horns."
Megadeth's Dave Ellefson writes, "He was truly one of the 'good guys' in this business and a consummate pro, someone we can all take a que and learn from. We are all fans of his and he did many great things for Megadeth and its members, starting starting as far back as his 'Dream Evil' North American tour in which we were the support band during the 'So Far, So Good...So What' tour... I'm very thankful to have gotten to know and tour with him in both MEGADETH and with Tim 'Ripper' Owens. Wendy Dio looked after Ripper's European tour where we played several shows with Heaven & Hell and we got to have many good moments with Ronnie during that tour. He is missed by us all. Our prayers go out to him and his family at this time."
Megadeth's Shawn Drover shares, "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 conversations with Ronnie about his career, etc. fully knowing he had probably told these stories 10,000 times to people and yet he answered every question I had with a big smile. I can recall so many times making eye contact with Glen sharing the exact same thought: 'Dude, I can't believe we are hanging with RONNIE JAMES DIO!!!!!' If you are lucky enough in your lifetime to actually meet one of your idols (let alone tour with them) and they turn out to be even nicer than you could have envisioned, that is something you would truly treasure. Lucky for me, I will cherish those memories forever."
Obituary's John Tardy writes on behalf of the band, "Obituary would just like to say what a huge influence Dio was to this band and to the face of metal! He was one of the good guys in music and will be greatly missed! We had the opportunity, only once, to actually talk with Dio. He came up to us and I was amazed that he even knew who Obituary were! In that one, short conversation, it was clear what a kind person he was. We no longer have Dio here with us, but we will have his music forever in our souls!"
While Obituary guitarist Ralph Santolla shares, "There's not a person in metal today that doesn't owe something to Ronnie James Dio. I had the honor to meet him once, and to see him perform many times, including on the 'Black and Blue' tour. He seemed to treat everyone he encountered as an equal, but few are his equals."
In closing, the man who signed Heaven & Hell to Roadrunner Records in the UK, Derek Oliver, writes: "Ronnie was a real gentleman, in the truest sense of the word, a man with an instantly identifiable voice who could move mountains and sooth hearts all in the same breath. He will be sadly missed by not only those of us who were lucky enough to come into contact with him but by all those who marvel at his vocal ability. Myself and all the staff at Roadrunner Records extend our deepest sympathies to his devoted wife Wendy, their family and friends. Ronnie James Dio - a pure voice with a pure heart."
May he rest in peace.