Metal Mourns a Master

By Jeff Owens

May 19, 2010

Ronnie James Dio, 1942-2010

Ronnie James Dio, 1942-2010, as seen on the cover of 1998 live album Inferno: Last in Live.

Along with the rest of the metal-loving world, we at Jackson Guitars mourn the passing of one of the genre’s greatest ever singers, Ronnie James Dio. From Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow to Black Sabbath to Dio to Heaven & Hell, the little man with the giant voice blessed us all with his amazing vocal talents for well over 30 years.

We were honored to participate in the standing ovation he received from his fans and peers at the recent Revolver magazine Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles, where he was deservedly crowned “Best Metal Vocalist.” Sadly just over month later though, after a courageous battle with cancer, Dio was taken from us on Sunday, May 16.  

Since the heart-wrenching news of Dio’s passing, countless condolences and tributes have poured in from all over the world. One of the most apt comes from Jackson signature artist Scott Ian of Anthrax, who toured with Dio in 2004.

“Horns at half mast,” Ian said, simply. “Such a huge loss.”

The fact that the organizers of the massive Download Festival in England immediately renamed its pivotal second stage as the “Ronnie James Dio Stage” speaks volumes regarding the massive and indelible impact the singer’s amazing talent had on the hard rock and metal community.

Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with the legendary singer’s wife, Wendy, and, of course, his family and friends. Rest in peace Ronnie James Dio—your memory, music and amazing voice will always live on.