Ronnie James Dio Dead at 67 (updated: Jack Black’s tribute)

Monday, May 17, 2010
By Rick Duran
Ronnie James Dio in "Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny"

Ronnie James Dio in "Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny"

The music world and fans across the globe are mourning the loss of heavy metal icon Ronnie James Dio, who lost his battle to stomach cancer at the age of 67. The legendary vocalist fronted the post-Ozzy Osbourne Black Sabbath, in addition to lead vocals for Rainbow and his own group Dio.

Around these parts, Dio played a major part in the career of Tenacious D.  Jack Black and Kyle Gass wrote a song about the singer on their debut album, declaring, “Dio, time to go/ You’re too old, no more rocking for you.”

The song was a tongue-in-cheek semi-tribute to the singer, who would later on get Black and Gass to cameo in his own music video for a track titled “Push”, where they perform a cover of Dio’s Sabbath classic, “Heaven and Hell.”

Perhaps the most classic collaboration between Dio and the D was his cameo from Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny, in a cameo as himself, singing to a young JB (played by Troy Gentile) in the film’s opening musical number “Kickapoo.”

Dio’s official website is encouraging fans to post their condolences over at his facebook page.


Jack Black has written a tribute of Dio for Time Magazine.

Dio has always been my favorite heavy-metal vocalist. Not just for his musical chops but also for the passion he poured into every performance. His use of beautifully haunting melodies leading to volcanic eruptions of raw rock power led to some of the great anthems of the genre. When Dio, who died May 16 at 67, performed live, he would stalk the stage like a dragon slayer. His commitment and theatricality were spellbinding. As a teenager I was profoundly moved by the life-affirming fire of his songs. They were filled with glory. They made me want to climb mountains and battle demons. To listen to Dio is to be transported to an ancient time of mystery and joy. His songs were an escape for millions of kids looking for release from the usual bull found on the FM dial. I had a chance to work with him, and he was about as cool a person as you could hope to meet. He was generous and soft-spoken, humble and serene, and had a tremendous sense of humor. Thank you, Dio.

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One Response to “Ronnie James Dio Dead at 67 (updated: Jack Black’s tribute)”

  1. Kevin Crossman

    It’s kind of amazing how beloved Dio was.

    Great summary of connections with Tenacious D. His performance in Pick of Destiny was definitely a highlight.


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