Late metal legend RONNIE JAMES DIO‘s widow, Wendy Dio, has issued her holiday greetings for Ronnie’s fans, posted on Facebook by Dio Disciples, to watch the video, click below:
The RONNIE JAMES DIO Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund (Dio Cancer Fund) Board of Directors presented the T.J. Martell Foundation with $100,000 during the 5th Annual Wine Celebration Dinner in Los Angeles on Wednesday, February 6th. The contribution is part of a three-year pledge for gastric cancer research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
Formed in honor of the legendary singer who lost his life to stomach cancer, The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable fund dedicated to support prostate, colon and stomach cancer research, raise awareness and educate the public with the focus that early detection and prevention is of vital importance when dealing with this deadly disease that robs families of its loved ones.
Wendy Dio, President and Founder of the Cancer Fund, made the check presentation to the T.J. Martell Foundation’s CEO Laura Heatherly, saying, “After my husband, Ronnie James Dio passed away from Gastric Cancer, I made a promise to him to raise funds for cancer research and education and I formed the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. Two and a half years ago we pledged $300,000 to the T.J. Martell Foundation and with our recent donation of $100,000 we have met our pledge. We intend to continue to raise funds for cancer research and hope one day we can find a cure for this horrible disease.”
“We have a special partnership with Wendy Dio and the Board of Directors of the Ronnie James Dio Cancer Fund,” said Laura Heatherly. “Both groups are working hard to do what we can to fund important cancer research that will eventually turn into drug discoveries and clinical trials which ultimately may save someone’s life.”
With the support of the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, Vanderbilt has established a collaborative research environment with some of the leading gastric cancer researchers in the world including Pelayo Correa, M.D., Richard Peek Jr., M.D., James R. Goldenring, M.D., Ph.D., Robert J. Coffey, M.D., Wael El-Rifai, M.D., Ph.D., and Stephen Fesik, Ph.D. These key investigators have made seminal discoveries on the causes of gastric cancer and are using these discoveries to find new therapies.
Pictured above from L-R: Laura Heatherly (TJ Martell, CEO), Wendy Dio (Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund President/CEO) and SUAS Board Members Sheila Melody, Sharon Weisz and William Wegner
Wendy Dio, the widow and longtime manager of legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW, HEAVEN & HELL), spoke to Eric Blair of “The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show” at this past Saturday’s (December 1) Icons & Idols-Rock ‘N’ Roll Auction at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, California.
Asked for her opinion of STRYPER‘s cover version of the BLACK SABBATH classic “Heaven And Hell”, Wendy said (see video), “I think they’re a great band, and I think it’s great that they would do something like that. I really do; I think it’s great. A lot of people do covers, and if they do them well, I think it’s great. It’s a very nice acknowledgement as well.”
STRYPER‘s version of “Heaven And Hell” was included on the band’s covers album, “The Covering”, which sold around 4,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 175 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Produced by frontman Michael Sweet, “The Covering” was unlike any previous STRYPER recording in that it was a collection of cover songs from bands that inspired them and helped to shape their sound and musical identity, including hits from JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, LED ZEPPELIN, KANSAS and many others.
Wendy‘s good friend and maid of honor Gloria Butler — who is also the wife and manager of BLACK SABBATH bassist Geezer Butler — stated about the event: “I couldn’t imagine, at my age, being part of a wedding party… never mind learning how to be a maid of honor. Well, not only did I manage to survive the entire ordeal… I thoroughly enjoyed being part of a truly wonderful event. In my next life; I’ll surely be weddingologist. This is a new field that I’ve either invented or perfected… that being a wedding planner and psychologist all in one!
“The wedding was in Santa Barbara.
“I had been to one other wedding, not only in the same city, but the same venue. What a difference…. This one was full of beauty and love and happiness. The other was full of eggshells (that most of us walked on the entire evening), judgement, and dread.
“Being somebody that can’t publicly speak terribly well and somebody that hates to read out loud, I managed to give a speech that was written only four hours prior to the wedding. According to my audience, I pulled it off really nicely and even got a good laugh (thank goodness — that was the intent).
“I wish Wendy and Omar a lifetime of love and happiness… The same love and happiness they showed their guests that night.”
Gloria Butler and Wendy Dio are the chairman of the board and president/co-founder, respectively, of the the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable fund formed in honor of Ronnie James Dio, who lost his life to stomach cancer on May 16, 2010.
Congratulations are in order for Wendy Dio (pictured below), the widow of legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW, HEAVEN & HELL), who married her boyfriend of the past two decades, Omar Gimenez, this past Sunday, September 9 in a private ceremony among family and friends in Montecito, California.
Étoile Weddings, whick took care of the planning for the event, tweeted a photo that was taken immediately after the wedding.
In a May 2011 interview with Brazil’s Roadie Crew magazine, Wendy was asked about accusations that she was cashing in on Ronnie‘s death by continuing to release new product and merchandise from her ex-husband in the months following his death. “I feel very, very, very sad,” she replied. “It’s very hurtful, but I know what I’m doing for the fans. I know what Ronnie and I had together, so, you know, it’s a shame that people say things like that, but people do always say things like that. I’m sorry for them. Most of the fans are fantastic; [they are] wonderful fans that loved Ronnie so much and who know that I wouldn’t do anything to hurt Ronnie‘s reputation. We’ve always fundraised. Ronnie and I always fundraised. For animals, for children, for everything. It’s only right that I continue in Ronnie‘s aim to do that.”
Asked whether she believed that those accusations were rooted in the fact that she and Ronnie were not involved as a couple for many years prior to his passing, Wendy said, “Maybe. But in any relationships there are ups and downs. You part, and you go back. Then you part and you go back. Ronnie and I married in 1974. It’s a long time to be together with somebody who is a musician. Sometimes there are ramblings of people who don’t really know you, who don’t really know what’s going on… These people always say things.”
The reunited original lineup of the legendary heavy metal band BLACK SABBATH will headline a number of Europe’s premier festivals in 2012. Kicking off on Friday May 18 in Moscow at Olimpski, the tour will bring BLACK SABBATH to the masses at: Download (U.K.), Azkena Rock (Spain), Hellfest (France), Graspop Metal Meeting (Belgium) and Gods Of Metal (Italy). However, that’s only the beginning of the group’s global tour which will take the band around the world, including countries the band has never played before and others they have not visited in more than three decades.
The four original members of BLACK SABBATH — Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Bill Ward (drums) — are recording their first studio album in 33 years with legendary producer Rick Rubin (seven-time Grammy winner, two of those as “Producer Of The Year”) for release worldwide on Vertigo, and Vertigo/Universal Republic in the U.S. in the fall 2012.
When asked by Artisan News for his opinion on the reunion of SABBATH‘s original lineup, legendary bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes — who fronted SABBATH on 1986’s “Seventh Star” LP — said (see video below), “I think it’s wonderful that Ozzy now is sober and willing to bring it all together. And I think that just shows the kind of man that he has now become. And he has always been a lovely, good friend to me. But it just shows how far they have come as brothers to come together at this time. I think it’s perfect timing.”
The Ronnie James Dio lineup of BLACK SABBATH reunited under the moniker HEAVEN & HELL in 2006 but split four years later, after Dio passed away.
Regarding what Ronnie‘s reaction would have been to SABBATH‘s original lineup reunion had he still been alive, his wife/manager Wendy Dio told Artisan News (see video below), “I think Ronnie would have given it his blessing. It’s the right thing to do. They were the innovators of rock and roll and they need to finish as… They’re legends — complete legends. I think it will be fantastic and I think Ronnie would have totally given his blessing.”
According to U.K.’s The People, BLACK SABBATH‘s planned world tour and festival appearances are expected to earn the musicians in excess of £100 million (around $159 million), meaning each member of the band could take home up to £25 million (approximately $40 million).
The band did attempt to record a new disc in 1998, but abandoned the attempt and released only two songs as part of a concert album called “Reunion”.
Following a reunion tour in 1998, SABBATH reunited sporadically in 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2005 for live dates. The foursome last appeared together at their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2006.
At their long-overdue induction, Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne spoke about the respect that SABBATH had earned over the years. “For a while, nobody would take us seriously,” Iommi said. “But as we went on, the more we carried on, the more we proved, the more we stayed there, you know? And I think we got the respect from that.” Ozzy added, “I never thought anybody liked us, and people on the Ozzfest would come to me and go, ‘You were really one of our inspirations.’ And I didn’t really, I didn’t believe it, you know?”
Eric Blair of “The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show” conducted an interview with Ronnie James Dio‘s widow and manager, Wendy Dio, at a massive gathering on December 14 at the Key Club in Hollywood, California to help celebrate the life and music of “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott (PANTERA, DAMAGEPLAN) as part of this year’s Dimebash. You can now watch the chat below.
All proceeds from the concert went to Wendy Dio‘s charity Stand Up And Shout, which raises money for cancer research; her husband died of stomach cancer in May 2010.
When asked about what events are planned for 2012 in connection with the Stand Up And Shout charity, Wendy said, “We have a bowling event, which is gonna be going on on May 16, which is the day Ronnie passed away. Celebrity bowlers. Can’t tell you names yet. But it’s gonna be fun. Bands playing, celebrity bowlers and an inexpensive ticket for fans to come to. Then we have our annual gala, which we did last year at the Playboy Mansion, which is fabulous. It was our first annual thing. It was great; we had a great time. And we’re also doing our auction. We have over 100 guitars. It’s gona be a huge event. I wanna raise $10 million [for charity].”
Wendy was also asked about the status of “Rainbow In The Dark: The Autobiography Of Ronnie James Dio”, the revealing memoir of the heavy metal master, which was three-quarters written before the singer’s death and which will be published in the fall of 2013 via MTV Books.
“I have to deliver it by January 15,” she said. “I’m writing the last few pages. I’m finding all the photos to go with it. I deliver it January 15 so it comes out a year and a half later.”
On the topic of whether there is any previously unreleased BLACK SABBATH material with Ronnie available that will eventually see the light of day, Wendy said, “Yes. But that’s another story, because there are three managers involved. And we have to discuss that, but I’m sure everybody’s gonna be great, especially if we give it to the charity.”
With nearly five decades of worldwide success and album sales in the tens of millions as the front man of ELF, RAINBOW, DIO, BLACK SABBATH, and, most recently, HEAVEN & HELL, Ronnie James Dio grabbed the mic, took the stage, and led a movement whose influence resonates to this day.
“Ronnie was a very special person,” Wendy said. “Not only was he an amazing vocalist, amazing songwriter, he was an amazing person as a human being. He loved people. He loved his fans. He listened when people spoke. A lot of times people don’t listen. He listened. He remembered people’s names. He remembered their children’s names. He was just a very, very special person. He was taken too soon from us. . . I don’t think anyone’s ever said a bad word about Ronnie except for [former DIO and current DEF LEPPARD guitarist] Vivian Campbell. [Laughs]“