On Monday, Ozzy Osbourne released a statement praising the talents of the late Ronnie James Dio, who died on Sunday of stomach cancer at the age of 67.
“I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Ronnie James Dio,” Osbourne said in the statement. “Metal has truly lost one of its greatest voices. My heart goes out to his family and to his many fans. … Love and respect.”
Dio, who possessed one of the most formidable voices in hard rock, replaced Osbourne in Black Sabbath at the end of the 1970s (after rising to fame with acts like Elf and Rainbow) and led the band through a career resurgence, thanks to albums like Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules. Dio would leave Sabbath to start his own band in late 1982, briefly rejoined in 1990, left again, then joined a final time in 2006, when he fronted the band under the moniker of Heaven and Hell.
Osbourne’s statement is just the latest in a series of tributes to Dio’s talent, generosity and kindness that have been pouring in since he died. Slayer’s Kerry King said he was lucky to have known him, and called Dio “one of the nicest guys in the business, without a doubt.” Anthrax’s Scott Ian echoed those sentiments, saying, “Every day on tour, he’d have a kind word, a smile and a clap on the back. I feel honored and privileged to even have shaken hands with Ronnie, let alone be able to say we were friends.”
A whole new generation of hard-rock acts also remembered Dio , with the likes of Killswitch Engage (who covered his classic “Holy Diver”) and Mastodon releasing statements about his death.
Share your own memories of Ronnie James Dio and his music in the comments.