Rockers KISS took a moment to "remember" late heavy metal legend Ronnie James Dio during a concert in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday, May 17, leading fans in a 30-second chant of the singer's name. Frontman Paul Stanley halted the show to pay his respects, and told fans, "Let's remember to remember him. Let's make sure he can hear us up there." Stanley then led the chant, "Ronnie, Ronnie..." before adding, "We love ya, we'll miss ya."
Prior to the show, Kiss had issued a statement about Dio's passing on Sunday, May 16. The bandmates declared, "We mourn the tragic passing of the great Ronnie James Dio. In addition to his powerhouse vocal ability, Ronnie was a true gentleman who always emanated great warmth and friendship to us and everyone around him. We will miss him."
Further tributes poured in for the Dio, Rainbow and Heaven & Hell star from rock's elite on Tuesday, May 18 - former Iron Maiden star Blaze Bailey called the late rocker "the inspiration for me to start singing and join a metal band" and Deep Purple rocker Jon Lord claimed Dio's voice was a "an instrument of power and of beauty", and suggested he was "a seminal influence in rock music".
Meanwhile, ex-Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic has written a tribute to Dio in his weekly column for SeattleWeekly.com. The rocker called the tragic star "a giant in the world of heavy metal" and admitted to playing his Black Sabbath hit Heaven & Hell on Sunday night after hearing Dio had lost his battle with cancer.
But perhaps the most touching tribute of the day came from the late star's Heaven & Hell bandmate Vinny Appice, who posted an open letter on his website. The heartfelt note began, "Hey, Ron, I never thought the day would come so suddenly. Ronnie was everything to me. He was my best friend, he was my brother. I sat behind him on my drums each night and played, watching him sing, hearing his roaring voice through my monitors. Every night he sent chills down my spine with his singing, inspiring me to push it further and play the best I can to the limit."
"I always knew how lucky I was to be in a band with him, but to become friends was even more special." Appice added, "My heart is so broken. We are now in a world without him and I will miss him so much. I can only think of how fortunate I was to make music with him that was in his heart."