DEVIN TOWNSEND, Members Of OPETH, TESTAMENT Pay Tribute To DIO On Australia's 'The Racket'

May 18, 2010

Devin Townsend (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, STEVE VAI, LAMB OF GOD, DARKEST HOUR, GWAR),Mikael Åkerfeldt (OPETH) and Paul Bostaph (TESTAMENT, EXODUS, SLAYER, FORBIDDEN) were interviewed by Andrew Haug about the influence and legacy of legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio during tonight's (Tuesday, May 18) edition of "The Racket", which airs on Australia's Triple J station. The program, which was dedicated in its entirety to Dio's memory, is available for streaming at the Triple J web site: Windows Media, Real Media. Check out the program's entire playlist at this location. The above-mentioned interviews can also be streamed using the audio players below.

Devin Townsend on Ronnie James Dio:

Mikael Åkerfeldt on Ronnie James Dio:

Paul Bostaph on Ronnie James Dio:

Dio died of stomach cancer on the morning of Sunday, May 16, at the age of 67. His wife and manager Wendy issued a statement saying, "Today my heart is broken . . . Many, many friends and family were able to say their private goodbyes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever."

Rumors that Dio had died began circulating on Saturday (May 15),with Wendy issuing a statement late that night saying that he was still alive but not doing well.

Dio was renowned throughout the world as one of the greatest and most influential vocalists in heavy metal history.

The singer, who was recording and touring with SABBATH offshoot HEAVEN & HELL prior to his illness, was diagnosed with stomach cancer late last year. He underwent chemotherapy and made what is now his final public appearance last month at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles.

HEAVEN & HELL recently canceled summer tour plans because Dio was not going to be well enough to tour.

The band released a new studio album in 2009, titled "The Devil You Know".

Ronnie James Dio, real name Ronald James Padavona, was born in New Hampshire on July 10, 1942.

He moved to Cortland, New York at a young age, where he began playing with local acts. A street in Cortland, Dio Way, was named after him in 1988.

He released his first single, with a band called RONNIE AND THE REDCAPS, in 1959.

His first heavy rock act, ELF, released three albums and opened for DEEP PURPLE, where Dio's voice caught the ear of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. Blackmore recruited Dio for his own band, RAINBOW, after leaving PURPLE in 1975.

Dio recorded three studio albums and one live set with RAINBOW before exiting in 1978, including "Rising" and "Long Live Rock And Roll".

He replaced Ozzy Osbourne in BLACK SABBATH in 1980, recording the "Heaven & Hell" and "Mob Rules" albums, plus "Live Evil", before leaving in 1982. He rejoined the group 10 years later for an album called "Dehumanizer", and again teamed with the group under the HEAVEN & HELL banner in 2006.

He has also recorded 10 studio albums with his own band, DIO, including a classic 1983 debut, "Holy Diver".

Dio was also behind the HEAR N' AID project, a collection of metal artists who recorded the track "Stars" in 1985 to raise funds for African famine relief.

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