Kiss’ Paul Stanley cupped the microphone in his hand and stood in the middle of the stage, pointing toward the sky. “Let’s make sure he can hear us up there,” the guitarist said, leading thousands of fans in a chant during a Kiss concert in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday night.
“Ronnie! Ronnie! Ronnie! Ronnie! We love you and we miss you!”
It was one of many tributes paid to legendary heavy-metal singer Ronnie James Dio , who died on Sunday of stomach cancer. He was 67. A number of metal artists and their fans sent condolences to the former Black Sabbath singer. Widely regarded as one of the most recognizable voices in metal, Dio also performed with Rainbow, Elf and his own solo band.
“We mourn the tragic passing of the great Ronnie James Dio,” Kiss bandmembers said in a statement. “In addition to his powerhouse vocal ability, Ronnie was a true gentleman who always emanated great warmth and friendship to us and everyone around him. We will miss him.”
Other groups, like Pearl Jam, let Dio’s music do the talking. About 45 minutes before their concert was to begin in Boston, house speakers blasted music spanning Dio’s career, and during a performance of Pearl Jam’s “Alive,” the band closed the song with riffs from Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” single.
Guitarist Doug Aldrich, who once played with Dio, described the singer as a giant. “I was blessed to share some music with him, but mostly, I am thankful for his friendship,” Aldrich said in a statement. “Ronnie was a good-hearted, caring man. He brought so much happiness through his music. Thank you, Ronnie, for the gifts you shared with us. Ronnie made magic, and Ronnie was and will always be golden.”
Saxon frontman Biff Byford also released a statement on Sunday, saying, “Today I heard my friend Ronnie Dio has lost his battle. It is a great loss to us all. I first met Ronnie in the early eighties when we played with Black Sabbath and Blue Öyster Cult, the infamous ‘Black and Blue’ tour. I first heard him sing on ‘The Butterfly Ball’ and from that moment, I understood what great singing was all about; he was at the top of his game from then on. His voice was always powerful and soaring; his phrasing was uniquely his, copied by many but never bettered. I will miss him as we all will.”
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