Tributes from the metal world immediately poured in. Metallica’s Lars Ulrich wrote a heartfelt letter to Ronnie James Dio on the band’s official site, thanking the singer for his contribution to music: “Ronnie, your voice impacted and empowered me, your music inspired and influenced me, and your kindness touched and moved me.”
His wife and manager Wendy Dio posted a statement on his official site which read: “Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May… his music will live on forever.”
We interviewed Dio in June 2009 – head here to read his reminiscences on Ozzy Osbourne, ‘Holy Diver’, and starring in South Park.
Meanwhile, here’s Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan on Ronnie James Dio: “I only got to meet him once and I can honestly say he was the nicest person I have ever met in music. Ronnie was a true gentleman, and obviously one of the best rock singers there will ever be. What a sad loss today.”