Ronnie James Dio Memorial Service
More than 1,200 fans attended a public memorial service on Sunday, May 30 for legendary metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who died of stomach cancer last month.
According to the New York Daily News, hundreds more gathered in the scorching heat outside the auditorium to watch monitors of the proceedings, which featured performances from some of Dio’s rocker friends, including Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple, Geoff Tate of Queensryche and Paul Shortino of Quiet Riot.
Scott Warren of Heaven and Hell began the memorial with an arrangement of Dio’s “This is Your Life” on piano. John Payne of Asia crooned Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell.” Joey Belladonna of Anthrax wailed Rainbow’s “Man On The Silver Mountain.”
Members of the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church said they opposed Dio because they believed he worshipped Satan, and with that also decided to picket the memorial service.