Metallica has honored the late Ronnie James Dio with a tribute medley. The medley, titled Ronnie Rising, features four song’s from Rainbow’s 1976 album. The nine-minute cover includes portions of “Kill the King,” “A Light In The Black,” “Stargazer,” and “Tarot Woman.”
Although the song was recently released via Sound Cloud, it will also be included on the album Ronnie James Dio: This is Your Life, which will be available beginning April 1. In addition to Metallica, the tribute album will include covers performed by Anthrax, Judas Priest, Motörhead, Slipknot, and the remaining members of Dio.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said Ronnie James Dio was a legend and a true inspiration:
“Ronnie’s music, and what he was, was part of my life… [Dio’s] music is so much a part of what’s in Metallica’s DNA, the harder, edgier, blues-based hard rock from the Seventies.”
Ulrich said writing and performing the medley were “fairly effortless.” The renowned drummer said Metallica did not simply “copy Dio’s recordings.” The medley is meant to convey “homage and respect” for Dio’s talent and influence.
Born Ronald James Padavona, the iconic performer was a native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. As a youth, Padavona played the trumpet and bass guitar. Although he eventually became a heavy metal icon, throughout high school he played in numerous rockabilly bands.
Although he briefly attended the University at Buffalo, where he majored in pharmacology, Ronnie eventually left to concentrate on his career in music. Although he was reportedly offered a scholarship by the Juilliard School of Music, he turned down the opportunity.
As reported by Lyrics Freak, Padavona eventually changed his name to Ronnie James Dio, a homage to Italian-American mafia kingpin “Johnny” Dio.
Throughout the 1970s, Dio performed in numerous bands, including Rainbow. Although the band was a great success, Ronnie eventually quit due to creative differences.
In 1979, Dio was recruited to replace Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath. During his time with the metal band, Ronnie popularized the “devil’s horns” hand gesture, which eventually became iconic.
In later years, Ronnie performed with Heaven & Hell and the self-titled band Dio. Throughout his career, Ronnie James Dio became well-respected for his energy, stage presence, and diverse vocal range.
Dio’s last live performance was on August 29, 2009. In November of the same year, Ronnie’s wife announced that he was suffering with stomach cancer. Although he sought treatment at the Mayo Clinic, he passed away on May 16, 2010.
Metallica’s Tribute to Ronnie James Dio is significant, as it includes portions of four songs. Each song in the medley underlines the talented singer’s skill and diversity.
Listen to the medley: HERE
[Image via MTV]