Probably the most tragic factor about Ronnie James Dio’s demise from metastasized abdomen most cancers in 2010 is that it doubtless might have been prevented. Dio, the person who’s commanding voice will stay eternally in metallic historical past, was 67 when he died and he had not been examined for abdomen or colorectal most cancers in not less than 10 years. The American Most cancers Basis recommends women and men over the age of fifty at common threat for creating colorectal most cancers obtain a colonoscopy each 10 years to detect and forestall the unfold of colon most cancers.
“All of the medical doctors mentioned if he’d have gone in [for a colonoscopy] a yr earlier or two years earlier, they might have handled him,” mentioned Dio’s Heaven and Hell and Black Sabbath bandmate, bassist Geezer Butler for Louder Than Hell: the Definitive Oral Historical past of Steel. “If it had been stage one they might have handled it. However by the point Ronnie was recognized, he had stage 4 most cancers, which was inoperable. The physician hinted that it was only a matter of time and there was nothing they might do. It is actually upsetting to consider that, and hopefully it is going to encourage individuals who have to have a verify as much as get it carried out.”
Ronnie James Dio’s Ultimate Present — Stay With Heaven and Hell (2010)
Dio, who was affected by stomach discomfort noticed a health care provider within the winter of 2009 and after a collection of exams he was recognized with most cancers. He started instantly started am aggressive for of chemotherapy at M.D. Anderson Clinic in Houston, Texas. On Could 4 Heaven & Hell canceled their summer season tour dates and Dio’s final look was on the Revolver Golden Gods on April 8, 2010, the place he was awarded “Greatest Steel Singer.”
In a black carpet interview with Artisan Information Service, Dio spoke about how exhausting it was to endure chemotherapy. “I really feel good and unhealthy at instances. It’s an extended course of, chemotherapy is. I by no means realized what a tough factor it’s go to by way of,” he mentioned. “The extra you’ve got, the extra it piles up on high of you. It takes longer and longer to recover from it. And I discover it very tough to eat.”
On the identical time, Dio remained optimistic and appeared satisfied that he was going to win his battle with most cancers. “In the event you’re decided to beat it than it’s important to with what you consider goes to be [the treatment] for you. I am going to an ideal hospital in Houston which is named M.D. Anderson, which I believe is the most effective hospital on the earth. I’ve the most effective physician on the earth who I actually belief and actually consider in. So I believe I’ve carried out all the appropriate issues. It makes me really feel optimistic about my life and optimistic that there’s much more of it to stay.”
On Could 4, Dio issued an announcement that learn partially, “Along with your continued love and help, we are going to stick with it and thrive. There will likely be different excursions, extra music, extra life and way more magic.” Sadly, Dio’s most cancers progressed rapidly and at 3 p.m. ET on Could 16, simply 12 days after Dio’s last assertion, his spouse and supervisor, Wendy Dio, confirmed that the metallic legend had died.
“Immediately my coronary heart is damaged,” Wendy Dio mentioned. “Many, many family and friends have been capable of say their non-public good-byes earlier than he peacefully handed away. Ronnie knew
how a lot he was beloved by all. We so respect the love and help that you’ve all given us…Please know he beloved you all and his music will stay on eternally.”
In his personal assertion, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi mentioned, “Ronnie beloved what he did, making music and performing onstage. He beloved his followers a lot. He was a form man and would put himself out to assist others. I can truthfully say it is really been an honor to play at his aspect for all these years. His music will stay on eternally. The person with the magic voice is a star amongst stars, a real skilled. I will miss you a lot, my expensive good friend.”
Heaven and Hell — Ronnie James Dio Tribute Set at Excessive Voltage Pageant (2010)
That it seemed like Dio’s well being was bettering wasn’t the one cause why his was so shocking. The diminutive singer with the bigger than life presence had handled main setbacks earlier than and all the time prevailed. He had been out and in of Black Sabbath twice earlier than reuniting with Iommi, Butler and drummer Vinny Appice in Heaven & Hell, and earlier than that he had clashed egos with Rainbow guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, struggled with the lineup for his personal band Dio and wrangled with two indie labels that went below, however all the time got here out combating.
Within the historical past of metallic, there are good singers after which there are legends – vocalists who’re identifiable with the primary observe of music. Dio’s operatic vibrato was unmistakable and intensely versatile. His was a voice that would sooth like a soul crooner one minute and roar like vengeful tyrant the following. Even when he was embellishing tunes with melodic interjections like ‘alright,’ ‘yeah’ or ‘ooooohh-oooohhhh,’ he loomed excessive above most vocalists of his period – regardless that he stood at nearly five-feet-four-inches tall.
As well as, Dio was a commanding presence, matching his majestic vocals with theatrical hand and arm gestures. He was synonymous with heavy metallic and really doubtless launched the metallic salute, the satan horns, to the general public (although Gene Simmons thinks he deserves credit score for that).
“I’d see my grandmother, after I was a bit of child, holding her hand, strolling down the road, she would see somebody and make the satan horns,” Dio recalled in Steel: A Headbanger’s Journey. “I realized it was referred to as the malocchi. Somebody was giving us the evil eye, so [with the horns my grandmother] was giving us safety from the evil eye. So, did I invent it? No, however [did I] excellent it and make it vital [to metal]? Sure, as a result of I did it a lot, particularly inside the confines of Sabbath.”
Whereas some musicians have referred to as Dio cussed and controlling, he was all the time dignified and well mannered to the press and all the time took the excessive highway, by no means talking poorly of his friends or adversaries, even after they tried to start out a beef.
There have been many singers which have copied his stage moved and have been impressed by his vocal approach, however there has by no means been anybody like Ronnie James Dio, one of many best metallic legends of all time.
Within the years since Dio’s demise, the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund has develop into one in every of rock’s extra outstanding charities, yearly staging the Experience for Ronnie and Bowl for Ronnie fundraisers whereas persevering with to attempt to help analysis that results in early detection, prevention and attainable remedy of prostate, colon and abdomen cancers.
Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the writer of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, in addition to the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Entrance ebook My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.