Wendy Dio, the wife and manager of legendary heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio (DIO, HEAVEN & HELL, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW), has released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET:
"Ronnie has been diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer. We are starting treatment immediately at the Mayo Clinic. After he kills this dragon, Ronnie will be back on stage, where he belongs, doing what he loves best, performing for his fans.
"Long live rock and roll, long live Ronnie James Dio.
"Thanks to all the friends and fans from all over the world that have sent well wishes. This has really helped to keep his spirit up."
Ronnie James Dio, 67, has performed with ELF, RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH, and his own band DIO. Other musical projects include the collective fundraiser "Hear 'n Aid". He is widely hailed as one of the most powerful singers in heavy metal, renowned for his consistently powerful voice and for popularizing the "devil's horns" hand gesture in metal culture. He is currently involved with HEAVEN & HELL, a project which also includes former BLACK SABBATH bandmates Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice. Their first studio album, "The Devil You Know", was released on April 28, 2009.
DIO cancelled its European tour last week after Ronnie was taken ill. The band's lineup for the trek was supposed to include WHITESNAKE/ex-DIO axeman Doug Aldrich due to the fact that the group's regular guitarist, Craig Goldy, had prior touring commitments with BUDGIE in Australia.
DIO's last release was the "Holy Diver Live" CD, featuring a performance of the classic "Holy Diver" album in its entirety, from start to finish, recorded live for the very first time in 2005 in front of a sold-out London crowd.