Legendary heavy metal vocalist [lastfm]Ronnie James Dio[/lastfm] — best known for his work with [lastfm]BLACK SABBATH[/lastfm], [lastfm]RAINBOW[/lastfm] and his own band [lastfm]DIO[/lastfm] — will be posthumously honored at the first-ever Classic Gold Music Awards (CGMA), set to take place August 27-30 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
The four-day entertainment industry gala to benefit local school arts and music programs will include celebrity parties, music seminars and multicultural exhibits culminating in an August 30 ceremony hosted by actor/comedian Michael Winslow (“Police Academy”) and showcasing musical performances from yesterday and today’s most popular performers.
This year’s “Living Legend” honoree is K[lastfm]C AND THE SUNSHINE BAND[/lastfm]. Other honorees include:
* [lastfm]Connie Francis[/lastfm]
* [lastfm]LITTLE ANTHONY & THE IMPERIALS[/lastfm]
* [lastfm]THE BELLAMY BROTHERS[/lastfm]
* [lastfm]THE 5TH DIMENSION[/lastfm] (original members)
* [lastfm]Isaac Hayes[/lastfm] (posthumous)
* [lastfm]Ronnie James Dio[/lastfm] (posthumous)
The CGMA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization which is committed to support schools that have discontinued their music programs due to a lack of funding. The CGMA leverages star power to promote education, community development and diversity. Its signature program is the Hip Hop Meets Mainstream initiative that teaches inner-city youth social skills and instills self-esteem mainstream values and social skills.
Dio died of stomach cancer on the morning of May 16, at the age of 67.
He was renowned throughout the world as one of the greatest and most influential vocalists in heavy metal history.
The singer, who was recording and touring with SABBATH offshoot [lastfm]HEAVEN & HELL[/lastfm] prior to his illness, was diagnosed with stomach cancer late last year. He underwent chemotherapy and made what is now his final public appearance in April at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles.
[lastfm]HEAVEN & HELL[/lastfm] earlier in the year canceled summer tour plans because Dio was not going to be well enough to tour.
The band released a new studio album in 2009, titled “The Devil You Know”.
[lastfm]Ronnie James Di[/lastfm]o, real name Ronald James Padavona, was born in New Hampshire on July 10, 1942.
He moved to Cortland, New York at a young age, where he began playing with local acts. A street in Cortland, Dio Way, was named after him in 1988.
He released his first single, with a band called RONNIE AND THE REDCAPS, in 1959.
His first heavy rock act, [lastfm]ELF[/lastfm], released three albums and opened for [lastfm]DEEP PURPLE[/lastfm], where Dio‘s voice caught the ear of guitarist [lastfm]Ritchie Blackmore[/lastfm]. Blackmore recruited Dio for his own band, [lastfm]RAINBOW[/lastfm], after leaving PURPLE in 1975.
Dio recorded three studio albums and one live set with [lastfm]RAINBOW[/lastfm] before exiting in 1978, including “Rising” and “Long Live Rock And Roll“.
He replaced[lastfm]Ozzy Osbourne[/lastfm] in [lastfm]BLACK SABBATH[/lastfm] in 1980, recording the “Heaven & Hell” and “Mob Rules” albums, plus “Live Evil”, before leaving in 1982. He rejoined the group 10 years later for an album called “Dehumanizer”, and again teamed with the group under the [lastfm]HEAVEN & HELL[/lastfm] banner in 2006.
He has also recorded 10 studio albums with his own band, [lastfm]DIO[/lastfm] including a classic 1983 debut, “Holy Diver”.
Dio was also behind the HEAR N’ AID project, a collection of metal artists who recorded the track “Stars” in 1985 to raise funds for African famine relief.