The Los Angeles City Council has officially declared May 30 Ronnie James Dio Day. The announcement was made at Sunday's public memorial service for the recently deceased, eternally awesome metal singer.
Event MC Eddie Trunk, the host of VH1 Classic's That Metal Show, announced the news to those 1200 mourners gathered inside of Forest Lawn's Hall of Liberty as well as the hundreds more who crowded the courtyards of the Griffith Park cemetery.
Naturally, the prepared statement from councilman Paul Koretz was greeted with rabid cheers and a strong showing of devil horns. Dio died of stomach cancer on May 16, and was active up until his death in Los Angeles non-profit Children of the Night, which sought to free children from forced prostitution.
Numerous metal icons showed up at the service to share stories and perform. Among them were members of Asia, Anthrax, Deep Purple, Queensrÿche, and Quiet Riot, and of course Dio's former bandmates from Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven and Hell.
Here's the official statement from Koretz (posted on Trunk's website):
“I would like to adjourn in memory of Ronnie James Dio. Born Ronald James Padavona, in Portsmouth New Hampshire in 1942. He had an amazing career in music, marked by tremendous successes with heavy metal bands Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Dio. He began his career playing with Rockabilly bands in the late 1950s, and gained wide exposure in 1972 while his band, Elf, as the opening act for Deep Purple. In 1979, he replaced Ozzy Osbourne as the front man of Black Sabbath. He toured with Black Sabbath until 1982, by then he had formed his own group, Dio.
Ronnie's charisma on stage was complemented by his compassion offstage. As an organizer for the non-profit organization Children of the Night, he was dedicated to the cause of assisting children who were forcefully subjected to prostitute themselves on the streets. Since 1979, this organization has provided victims of forced prostitution with intervention and counseling, as well as a roof over their heads and a place to sleep.
He is survived by his wife, Wendy, who is chair of Children of the Night, and his son, Daniel, his father, Pat Padavona, and two grandchildren.
For his countless fans and admirers, there will be a public memorial service this Sunday, May 30th at 2:00 PM at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.
Councilmember Paul Koretz”