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Ronnie James Dio R.I.P.

 Steve Gerrard Photography

Picture: Steve Gerrard Photography

Ronnie James Dio of Elf, Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven and Hell has passed away after his fight with stomach cancer. His wife Wendy posted the sad news on his official website earlier today. I would like to offer my condolences to Wendy and to Ronnie’s friends and family. If anyone wishes to offer condolences to the family they can do so via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/OfficialRonnieJamesDio.

Message from Wendy Dio

“Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.”

– Wendy Dio

Rest in Peace

On a personal note I was very much looking forward to photographing Ronnie at festivals across the UK this year with Heaven & Hell. Ronnie was a hero of mine ever since I was a kid. Sadly it was not meant to be. He was a giant among his contemporaries and an inspiration to many of my generation. He may have passed away but his legacy lives on in the hearts of millions of music fans around the world. Today I am truly sad.

Download to name stage after Dio

In response to the sad news that Ronnie James Dio has died after a battle against stomach cancer, Download Festival organisers have confirmed that they will be re-naming the Second Stage at this year’s festival The Ronnie James Dio Stage, as a mark of respect.

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