Metal fans from around the globe will get a chance to throw up the devil horns one last time for heavy metal icon [artist id="482"]Ronnie James Dio[/artist] at a public memorial slated to take place on May 30 in Los Angeles.
According to details posted on the late singer’s official Facebook fan page, the service will take place at 2 p.m. at the Hall of Liberty in the Forest Lawn cemetery in Hollywood Hills.
“This will be a celebration of the life and music of Ronnie James Dio and is open to all of his friends and fans from around the world,” reads the announcement.
Dio, remembered as one of metal’s all-time greatest singers, died early Sunday morning after battling stomach cancer for less than a year. The singer, credited with inventing the ubiquitous two-fingered “devil horns” metal salute, was best known for his work with Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell, and his own band, Dio, and lauded by friends and musical admirers as a metal icon.
Speaking to MTV News on Wednesday, former Guns ‘N Roses guitarist Slash said Dio was one of a kind. “There’s not a lot of people like Ronnie,” he said. “You start to recognize [his] amazing contribution to rock and roll, or to music, however you want to look at it. People have taken it for granted because he’s so good and he’s always been there. He’s so consistent, he’s always putting out albums, he’s been in four different bands, and he’s always been around. And all of a sudden, the reality of him not being there anymore really makes you recognize what an iconic and amazing individual he was.”
A few days after Dio’s death, Slash said the reality was just beginning to set in that the world will be without the singer’s signature operatic wail. “Ronnie is one of a kind,” he said. “He was phenomenal. We met many times in passing. Not too long ago, we put our hand imprints at the Rock Walk at Guitar Center in Los Angeles together. He was a consummate gentleman — the kind of rock star people should aspire to be, as opposed to being sort of arrogant pricks. Ronnie was very genuine and very considerate and just really nice to everybody.”
For those unable to attend the memorial, Dio’s wife, Wendy, has asked that instead of flowers, fans make contributions to the Ronnie James Dio “Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund,” c/o Niji Entertainment Group, 12400 Ventura Blvd. #624, Studio City, CA, 91604.