Dio Cancer Fund To Celebrate Ronnie James Dio’s Birthday With Virtual Fundraiser

The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund was established to honor one of the top heavy metal rock vocalists of all time. He tragically lost his fight with stomach cancer on May 16, 2010. On Saturday, July 10, 2021, a Virtual Event Fundraiser will be held online to celebrate Ronnie’s birthday. The Stand Up and Shout for Ronnie James Dio’s Birthday Virtual Fundraiser benefitting the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, features a staggering array of artists. Some will be performing their music; some will be paying tribute to Ronnie and his influence on rock; while others, who played in bands with him will tell about their memories of Ronnie James Dio.

Ronnie James Dio started singing and playing in bands in 1957. By 1960 he was instrumental in forming a group called Ronnie and the Prophets. The band went through several changes, finally changing their name to Elf in 1972. By that time Ronnie James Dio was becoming noted for his powerful voice and commanding presence on the stage. Shortly thereafter, they began regularly opening for Deep Purple, one of the major groups of the 1970s. When Ritchie Blackmore, the guitarist for Deep Purple left the band, he invited Ronnie James Dio to form Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. By this time, Ronnie James Dio was gaining serious praise for his songwriting as well as his singing.

Ronnie James Dio ultimately left Rainbow, replacing Ozzie Osbourne in Black Sabbath. Following his departure from Black Sabbath along with drummer Vinny Appice, they formed his namesake band, Dio in 1982. His career with Dio continued, along with projects such as Band Aid and USA for Africa, for the rest of his life. He worked with some of his bandmates from Black Sabbath in a new band called Heaven and Hell; while working with a diverse set of other artists including Tenacious D, Pat Boone and various members of Deep Purple.

In November 2009, Ronnie James Dio announced that he had stomach cancer. Jeff Pilson, the bass player for Dokken, Foreigner and Dio, related to the Los Angeles Beat, “I was first told about Ronnie‘s condition in a call from Vinny Appice. It didn’t seem real for a while, but quickly it became a dark reality”. The disease took its toll; and Ronnie James Dio succumbed to stomach cancer on May 16, 2010. Dio was remembered as not only a powerful vocalist and songwriter, but also as the person who popularized the now iconic “heavy metal horns” sign as part of his performance, a hand sign that spread throughout all of rock music’s shows.

In 1978, Ronnie James Dio married his manager, Wendy. Shortly after his passing, Wendy Dio set up the Dio Cancer Fund, a non-profit charitable fund designed to support research and education that furthers early detection, prevention and treatment of prostate, colon and stomach cancers. The upcoming event, Artists United To Celebrate Ronnie’s Birthday and Raise Funds For The Dio Cancer Fund, is one way for people to honor Ronnie’s memory. When asked about the response to participate in the event, Wendy stated that “My heart is so full of gratitude for all the artists that give their time and talent to our cause. The awareness Is so important and to get the message out that early  detection saves lives. We are a volunteer Board of 14 friends of Ronnie’s with NO administration fees who work tirelessly to raise funds and awareness with every penny received from donations going to cancer research and education to hopefully one day find a cure for this terrible disease.”

An all-star list of artists and celebrities will be participating in this event. Sammy Hagar; Tenacious D’s Jack Black and Kyle Gass; Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath); Carmen Appice (Vanilla Fudge; Beck, Bogert and Appice); Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses); Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne); Jeff Pilson (Foreigner, Dio); Ritchie Kotzen (Poison); Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) and Rob Halford (Judas Priest) are but a short listing of those who will perform as well as give interviews during the show. The Dio Band will play some classic Ronnie James Dio songs.

Asked why he chose to participate in the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund Fundraiser, Jeff Pilson replied, “Well for one, it’s like family! But the other is to use this as an opportunity to bring some financial assistance to those in need, and to help spread the word. Towards the end Ronnie acknowledged how important things like diet and lifestyle were in personal health. I believe he would have wanted more people, especially his fans, to know that.” It seems that Ronnie James Dio moved many people, not just fans of his band, but the musicians who played with him and many others who he worked with, as well as a multitude of friends.  

The Los Angeles Beat asked Jeff Pilson what his favorite story about Ronnie was. Jeff replied, “My favorite story is actually the day I joined the band. I was sitting at home, very frustrated trying to get my sprinklers to work when all of a sudden there’s a knock on the door. It was Ronnie and Vinny. Now mind you we were already close friends and lived near each other so not a complete shock- but a pleasant surprise nonetheless. I asked them what’s up and they said Jimmy hadn’t shown in a few days and do I know of any bassists that would wanna be in the band. I said yes- ME!!!!!! They told me they had a rehearsal place down the street, could I come jam? I told them I’d love to but my sprinklers are broken and I need to figure something out. Immediately Ronnie and Vinny said they’d handle it and in about 15 minutes those guys got my sprinklers going (better than ever frankly) and we were off to start working on Strange Highways! It’s always good when someone in the band is handy, in this case it was NOT me! Thank God for Ronnie and Vinny being pretty damn good around the house!”.

Tickets for the Stand Up and Shout for Ronnie James Dio’s Birthday Fundraiser are on sale now at RollingLiveStudios.com. In addition to $20 General Admission tickets to view the show, Rolling Live Studios is offering special merchandise packages and virtual VIP experiences for fans to participate in this unique worldwide event. The Dio Ultimate Bundle Auction comprises rare Dio-themed items hand- picked from the vault by Wendy Dio, including vintage tee-shirts from 1980’s tours, an authentic autographed photo of Ronnie James Dio, rare die cut picture disks and vinyl boxed sets, and an assortment of vintage backstage passes.

An auction will also be held during the event. Several auction items will be available including a grab bag of Dio-themed and Dio Cancer Fund merchandise. A limited number of copies of RAINBOW IN THE DARK: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY, written by Ronnie James Dio (with Wendy Dio and Mick Wall) and signed by Wendy Dio, will be made available prior to its publication and availability to the public on July 27. Another auction piece is a one-of-kind Dio-themed leather jacket that will be custom made for the winning bidder by celebrated artist Carin Hazmat.

Ronnie James Dio was known also for his devotion to charitable work and numerous animal charities. The Stand Up and Shout for Ronnie James Dio’s Birthday Fundraiser is a chance to learn who he really was, through archival footage of Ronnie’s life and also footage of Dio Cancer Fund charity events . With such events as their 10th Anniversary Gala, the annual Ride For Ronnie Motorcycle Ride and Concert and the Bowl For Ronnie Celebrity Bowling Tournament, there has been over $2 million raised in the Dio Cancer Fund’s history.

Even if you aren’t familiar with Ronnie James Dio’s incredible music career, this is a great way to learn about it and support a charity that is performing very important work. Cancer can affect people without warning; and it may happen to someone close to you and loved by you. This Virtual Fundraiser is one way to help support the research and education that may save someone you know and ultimately save lives.

Stand Up and Shout for Ronnie James Dio’s Birthday Virtual Fundraiser

July 10, 2021

2PM PT

Tickets available from ROLLINGLIVESTUDIOS.COM

More Info DIOCANCERFUND.ORG

Ed Simon

About Ed Simon

Ed is a native of Los Angeles who loves food and food cultures. Whether he's looking for the best ceviche in Colombia, the best poke in Hawaii, the best tequila in Jalisco or the best Taiwanese Beef Roll in Los Angeles, it's all good food! He also loves a good drink. He's had Mai Tais in Hawaii, Bourbon in Kentucky, Tequila in Mexico and Rum in Jamaica. His wine escapades have taken him to Napa, Sonoma, the Willamette Valley and the Santa Ynez Valley. And he's had beer all over the world! Music is another of Ed's passion, writing and interviewing many classic rock, rock and blues musicians. Getting the great stories of road experiences from them is a particular delight. Traveling also fits in with Ed's writing, exploring all over to find the most interesting places to visit, even in out of the way areas.
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