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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

RONNIE JAMES DIO Honored By ANTHRAX On His 70th Birthday!

70 years ago, Ronnie James Dio (RIP) was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States. The Italian family lived in Portsmouth until the family moved to Cortland, New York early in his life. He initially played the trumpet and French horn and even recorded several singles with various rockabilly bands when he was a boy. When he was in high school, he joined a band called The Vegas Kings, in which he played the bass guitar. He eventually became the lead singer of this band which changed its name to Ronnie & The Rumblers and finally to Ronnie & The Red Caps.

Fast forward to 1967, when Ronnie Dio and the Prophets disbanded in 1967, when he and Prophets guitarist Nick Pantas started a NEW band called the Electric Elves (in 1969 the names was shorten to Elf). Eventually they went on to become an opening act for Deep Purple while recording three albums. Elf was Dio's first groundbreaking band. As we all know, Dio later became part of Rainbow and Black Sabbath (Heaven and Hell). He also fronted his own band Dio, and was part of a slew of musical projects.

Dio died at 7:45 am (CDT) on May 16, 2010, of metastasized stomach cancer.

Here are some facts about the great Ronnie James Dio:

- RJD was an Italian-American Heavy Metal vocalist and songwriter.

- He performed with: Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, and his band Dio.

- Considered the most powerful singer in Heavy Metal history.

- Ranked as one of the greatest Rock vocalists of all time.

- Credited with popularizing the "devil horns" hand gesture in Metal culture.

- Prior to his death he was collaborating with Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice, on a new Heaven & Hell album, which would have been the following to "The Devil You Know", released on April 28, 2009.

- Dio died of stomach cancer on May 16, 2010.

- One of the last songs he recorded was titled "Metal Will Never Die".

Here is a video of ANTHRAX's drummer Charlie Benante laying down a cover version of the BLACK SABBATH classic "Neon Knights" for inclusion on the upcoming Ronnie James Dio tribute album.

Click here for more information about the Ronnie James Dio tribute album!

Related links:
Black Sabbath
Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund

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