It’s been SEVEN Years

MAY 16, 2010 will forever be a dark day for me. It’s going to have to take the birth of another child or maybe a lottery win on this day (Powerball Jackpot is $203 Million today…fingers crossed) to lift the cloud cast by the death of one of my vocal heroes, Ronnie James Dio.

Seven years ago today, Ronnie James Dio, the man credited with the invention of the finger horns, was taken from us way too early by the scourge of cancer. I had the privilege to see him perform in one of his very last shows in August of 2009 in San Francisco, roughly 10 shows before his last, and he was incredible. The voice was still strong, and the performance was entrancing despite being riddled with cancer. Of course, none of us knew it, the news of Dio being sick didn’t emerge until after the tour.

The news of his diagnosis was initially vague, and optimistic as I recall a video news report on YouTube claiming RJD had started chemo for cancer. I remember feeling that there is no way this CANCER could take a God like Dio, but unfortunately I was mistaken.

Just a few days before Dio passed away, I heard the diagnosis of stomach cancer, and I knew it was over soon. Stomach cancer is one of those that is almost automatic death. Then, on this day, 7 years ago, I don’t know whether he went to Heaven or Hell…but he left us.

Even though Ronnie has been gone for 7 years, his undeniable mark has been left on the musical landscape and will never be extinguished. Like a Rainbow in the Dark, his voice, his music and his spirit lives on.

I narrated and helped produce a tribute video for a concert I organized in the San Fran Bay Area a month after RJD’s passing. I rounded up 20 of the Bay Area’s musicians and vocalists and we performed 3 hours worth of Dio’s music to raise money for the cancer fund opened in honor of Ronnie, Ronnie James Dio’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. We raised nearly $2,000 that night, and you can still donate by going to

Watch the video below, and Stand Up and Shout in honor of Ronnie. (The video will have to be posted a later date, it seems to have disappeared from YouTube.)

RIP Ronnie James Dio, July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010.


Written by Chris Elio for Bloodrock Media on May 16, 2017
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