R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010)

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Just a few short weeks ago, we brought you an exclusive clip of Ronnie James Dio talking to our own Eddie Trunk on the Black Carpet of the Revolver Golden Gods Awards (airing this Saturday, May 22). Dio spoke bravely about the chemotherapy he had been enduring, as well as his desire to get back on the road and play again for his fans. Sadly, Dio passed away yesterday at the age of 67 after a valiant fight against stomach cancer.

Last night, Eddie Trunk posted the following remembrance on his Trunk Report blog:

This is a blog post I truly wish I was not writing. My hands are shaking on the keyboard, so excuse the typos. I lost a dear friend today, someone who I loved way beyond just the brilliant music he gave the world for decades.

Sadly, it has been confirmed that Ronnie James Dio has lost his battle with cancer. In my 27 years in the business, I have never met anyone like Ronnie. I am fully aware of people that I deal with, and people that deal with me, because it’s the business and what we do, but Ronnie was way beyond that. Nobody ever gave me the public show of support and respect back like Ronnie, and our friendship went way beyond the business.

I will never forget the first time I did a TV interview with him. I had done years of radio but when I first started as a host at VH1 Classic doing interviews under the show name Hangin With…, Ronnie was one of the first to come in. I was wrapping up the interview and thanked him for coming by when he stopped me in mid sentence and said, “No, thank you, more artists should be thanking you because you’re the real deal and you keep us alive.”

That was Ronnie James Dio. One of the classiest, most sincere, real people you could ever know. Sometimes it’s hard to find nice things to say about people when they pass, but not Ronnie; I could go on forever with similar stories and so can anyone else that had the honor to call him friend. I have memories and stories for a lifetime that I will cherish forever, way too many to get into here, especially in my current state as I type this.

There is video of the last time I saw Ronnie. It was at the Golden Gods in L.A. April 8th of this year. I had asked him to be a guest on That Metal Show a few days earlier. Wendy, his wife, called me the day before this interview and said he was not well and they were headed to the doctor. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to see him on the red carpet for the awards the next day. He told me he had a bad reaction to a treatment but was okay. Needless to say, I was hoping the same recovery would happen when news came my way early this morning that he was not well. Tragically, it didn’t.

The man fought this as bravely as anyone could as you can see by how he looks and sounds in the clip. Ronnie and I spoke on the phone when he was first diagnosed privately. It was a great conversation. I always knew how he felt about me and after we spoke he knew how I felt about him. I really need to process this, it is a tough one to say the least. Between Rainbow, Dio and Sabbath, his voice was consistently the most heard on my radio shows, and that will never change, the music truly will live on forever and I will see to that on my end for sure.

To his fellow fans, friends and family I express my deepest sympathy for your loss and I shed the same tears as all of you today. My radio show this Friday night will be entirely dedicated to the music of Dio. We will celebrate his music and memory, not just for the next week or so, but for as long as I do what I do. We have lost a legend. A brilliant musician but way beyond that, and more importantly, one of the classiest, nicest people you could ever hope to know. Rest in peace my friend, you will be missed, but know I and so many more you touched will be sure you are never forgotten through your music and love and friendship you gave us all.

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