Sunday, 16 May 2010

Ronnie James Dio Passes Away

Ronnie James Dio has lost his battle against cancer. He was 67. A rumour had circulated that he had died in the early hours of today, which Wendy Dio had gone online to rebuke, but a few hours later he did finally lose his fight, dying at 7.45am US time. His struggle against stomach cancer had been well documented online and in the press, and for a while it looked as though he would pull through. His spirit and determination was astounding, but sadly it wasn't to be.

This is a sad day for rock and metal fans the world over. Ronnie was and is a true legend of the music we love. In fact, if it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have a great deal of this music in the first place. Whether it was his early days in Elf, his legendary time with the Dio band, or his dalliances with Black Sabbath/Heaven And Hell, he displayed one of the most unique and powerful voices in music, let alone heavy rock. He leaves behind a huge legacy, and will be remembered by millions for a long time to come.

The passing of Ronnie James Dio is something that will undoubtedly hit a great many people on a personal level. First and foremost there is his family and friends, coping with their terrible loss. Next up there will be the massive array of musicians he worked with during his long career. Beyond that there will be the countless legions of fans, including myself, all of whom have their own personal memories of Ronnie and what his work meant and means to them.

For me, Ronnie was an idol. A Dio song was one of the first tunes that got me into this scene in the first place, so in a way Dio and his music helped me on the road to becoming the published music journalist that I am today. Whatever reminds you of Ronnie, whichever song from whichever band, crank it up high, throw those horns and remember a metal god that may have been small in stature, but was gargantuan in talent.

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