Entertainment & Arts

Kiss and Pearl Jam pay tribute to Ronnie James Dio

Ronnie James Dio
Image caption Dio completed a US tour earlier this year

Rock bands including Kiss and Pearl Jam have paid tribute to heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio, who died from cancer at the weekend, aged 67.

On Monday, at a gig in Switzerland, Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley led fans in a chant of former Black Sabbath singer Dio's name.

And grunge stars Pearl Jam performed a riff from one of Dio's songs, Heaven and Hell at a gig in the US.

Ozzy Osbourne called Dio one of metal's "greatest voices".

Dio replaced Osbourne as the Black Sabbath singer in 1980. In a statement, Osbourne said: "My heart goes out to his family and to his many fans. ... Love and respect."

Sabbath bassist Terry 'Geezer' Butler visited Dio in hospital and said of the day: "In the evening, the chaplain came, and we all gathered around Ronnie's bed and prayed.

"At 11pm, most of us left, leaving Wendy [Ronnie's wife] her privacy to say her last farewell. The devastation was palpable."

In another statement, rock legends Kiss said: "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."

At Monday night's gig in Geneva, the band led fans in the chant: "Ronnie! Ronnie! Ronnie! Ronnie! We love you and we miss you!"

Guitarist Doug Aldrich, who played with the vocalist, said: "I was blessed to share some music with him, but mostly, I am thankful for his friendship," describing him as a "good-hearted, caring man".

Nearly 45,000 people have left tributes to Dio on Facebook.

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