A bunch of Ronnie James Dio's colleagues shared their thoughts with Goldmine over the passing of the metal legend:
Rachel Bolan, bassist and primary songwriter of Skid Row
"The first time I met Ronnie was in Limerock, CT at Skip Barber Racing School. We drove fast cars all day and talked about music afterwards. It was truly amazing. I was a bit nervous about meeting him because after all it was Ronnie James Dio! However, after five minutes of conversation, I felt totally at ease because of his genuine and friendly nature. He was the voice of my youth. I will always hold him in highest regard as a person and as a vocalist. Long live Ronnie James Dio, Long live Rock and Roll."
Joey Allen, guitarist for Warrant
"The man was the kindest soul I have EVER met in this business. He has left us with what is undoubtably the best voice EVER in Rock and Roll. I consider it an honor to have known him and will continue to rock his music for my entire life. Thank GOD for RJD and may he rest in peace! "
Michael Lardie, guitarist and keyboardist for Great White
"Although I had a limited amount of opportunity to work with Ronnie, when I did he was every bit a true talent , professional , kind and warm with me !! He will be missed as not only one of the most unique voices in rock and roll, he will be missed as great human being."
Eric Singer, drummer for KISS and Badlands
"Ronnie James Dio
What a HUGE voice !
And a huge loss for all of the music world...
RJD was always a nice & gentle man who will live on in our hearts and thru his music he has left behind."
Wolf Hoffman, guitarist for Accept
"One of the best singers in rock and a true gentleman. We'll miss him...
Tommy Gunn, NYC club owner
"I had met Ronnie a few times at some of my events. He was one of the most gracious people I have ever met. He truly loved what he did and he was born to be a rock star and inspired a generation of musicians. Many people may not know this but he was responsible for making the “devil horns” part of rock culture. He will be missed ... rock and roll has lost another legend."
Leland Sklar, legendary musician currently on James Taylor/Carole King tour
"Very sad. Great guy."
Mick Wall, renowned music journalist
"He was the real life man on the silver mountain, with the big voice and even bigger dreams, which he made come true with his astonishing talent and depth of character. A one of a kind, we will not see his like again."
Jason Beiler, guitarist and songwriter in Saigon Kick
"Ronnie was clearly one of the most important and brilliant vocalists in metal and while I never had the pleasure of meeting him, I did see him in concert numerous times. I always left slightly depressed when the realization hit me that I would probably never have a singer that good in my band. In a world of whining wannabes, he was the real deal."
Matt Kramer, former vocalist for Saigon Kick
"Ronnie James Dio was without a doubt one of the finest voices ever, in any genre and time period. His work was a huge influence on me as an aspiring vocalist in my teens.
I use to park my car at a local plaza where kids used to party and play “Last In Line” on my boom box and sing for my friends to try to get over my shyness, and attempt to match his awesome tone and power. I will miss him greatly. I actually got to meet him and his parents at an Indian restaurant in the valley, and he is one of my few heroes that were so genuine and didn’t let me down. My condolences to his family. "
Lance Bulen, guitarist for Baton Rouge
"The passing of Ronnie has saddened me, my circle of friends and music lovers from all over the world. I met with Ronnie a few years back and he treated me like I knew him for years. Not only did I respect him for his talent but my respect for him was heightened after our meeting.
I still am a big fan of his and will be till the day I pass."
Gene Kirkland, famed photographer
"I can't stop crying and am in complete shock. I can't even begin to thank Ronnie and Wendy for giving a young photographer a chance. They both took me in under their wings and gave me the greatest gift any human being can give....their love and friendship, He was more than just one of rock's most powerful voices. He was a very sweet, kind man who was my friend."
Gil Moore, drummer for Triumph
"He was a great singer. And it's a tragedy to see him die so early in life. I mean, he wasn't young, but he sure wasn't old. He had one of the best voices. His first record with Rainbow ... that really blew me away. I just about wore out the cassette playing it. This guy had a freight train of a voice. He really did.
We would see Ronnie backstage. He would show up at Triumph shows with quite a bit of regularity. He'd show up at our show and come backstage. And he was always a great guy."
Rhino Records (statement)
"R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio.
The Rhino family is deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Ronnie James Dio. As a member of Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven & Hell, Ronnie was truly a pioneer in rock 'n' roll with one of the most powerful voices in the history of music.
Ronnie had a nearly 50 year relationship with the Warner Music Group family, from one of his first singles on Atlantic in 1962, to his platinum albums with Black Sabbath and Dio on Warner Bros. Records, up to his final release with Heaven & Hell last year on Rhino. Not only was Ronnie a true legend in rock 'n' roll, but he was also a sincere, gracious man that we were proud to call a friend. One of our favorite memories from Ronnie's many visits to the Rhino offices was the time he personally went from office to office to thank people individually for all the hard work they had been doing on his behalf –a truly sincere gesture that demonstrates what a generous, caring person he was. Today we take the time to celebrate his life and music.
Ronnie, your Rhino family is raising our horns up for you today. We know that is the way you would have wanted it."