Heavy metal god Ronnie James Dio was laid to rest this weekend at Los Angeles’ Forest Lawn Memorial Park’s Hall of Liberty at a memorial attended by more than 1,200 people. Hundreds more watched on television screens set up outside the hall as chants of “Dio, Dio” and scores of Ronnie’s trademark “devil horns” filled the air. The crowd was packed with Dio’s family, friends and heavy metal stars he’d inspired, including Deep Purple’s Glenn Hughes, Asia’s John Payne and Anthrax’s Joey Belladonna, who sang Rainbow’s “Man on the Silver Mountain” at the service, the AP reports.
Dio, who passed away May 16th after a battle with stomach cancer, “touched all of us with his music and his message and his magic,” said Dio’s cousin and Elf bandmate David Feinstein at the service. “I know that Ronnie truly loved all of you. He had a great appreciation for your loyalty. I’m talking about all you out there, all the fans.” Dio’s son Dan Padavona paid tribute to his father in a speech that pleaded with fans to get checked regularly by a doctor, as Dio had ignored warning signs for years before discovering he had cancer.
“He was a huge influence and was probably one of the key heavy metal singers of all time,” Slash told Rolling Stone . “He is seriously going to be missed.” Ozzy Osbourne added, “He was a great, great singer. It’s a terrible loss.”