Ronnie James Dio Remembered

More than 1,200 fans of the late Ronnie James Dio packed a public memorial service for the legendary metal singer at Forest Lawn Memorial Park’s Hall of Liberty in Los Angeles May 30.

Dio, who had battled stomach cancer since last summer after wrapping up a tour with Heaven And Hell, died of the disease May 16. He was 67.

Scott Warren of Heaven And Hell, Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple, Geoff Tate of Queensrÿche and Paul Shortino of Quiet Riot were some of the artists who performed at the service, where hundreds more fans reportedly stood outside in the heat to watch the service on monitors.

What drew the massive fan response to Dio throughout his career was summed up by Willie Fyfe, Dio’s longtime personal assistant.

“He had that magic,” Fyfe recalled. “He always called it magic. Once he had a crowd in his hands, that’s where they stayed until it was time to go, then he’d give them back, and walk off and do his thing. Bless him, he’s still doing that now, and the guy is in a coffin.”