Before Ronnie James Dio passed away on 16 May from stomach cancer, Heaven & Hell (which featured fellow Black Sabbath members Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinnie Appice) had planned a European summer tour. Although those dates were canceled, Dio's bandmates are planning a show at the High Voltage Festival on Saturday 24 July in London as a way of paying tribute to their fallen friend and frontman.
The concert will also benefit a worthy cause: all proceeds will go towards Dio's Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund.
"It's going to be a very emotional occasion," bassist Butler said on the band's website. "Ronnie loved his fans like no one else I know - and they loved him. It will be a privilege doing a gig in honor of his memory, and to help towards his charity.
"Above all, I hope it encourages people to have regular check-ups for this disease. Early detection is vital, and greatly improves the chance of a cure. I know everyone has heard that a million times before, but seeing one of your best friends die because we all think we're immune from this disease really brings it home. Do it for yourself, your family, your friends. Ronnie would be proud of you."
Guitarist Tony Iommi added: "Ronnie's passing has left a huge hole, we hadn't anywhere near finished what we set out to do as a band together. He was so looking forward to the European tour and we hope this appearance will go some way to fulfilling that."
Although he was diminutive in stature, Dio had lung power to spare. Assuming vocals for the show are longtime Dio friend and former Deep Purple bassist/Black Sabbath vocalist Glenn Hughes and the relatively unknown Norwegian singer Jorn Lande. Lande has fronted the metal band Masterplan and has released several solo albums, including a Ronnie James Dio tribute disc (check him out on video below).
For more information on the High Voltage charity show, visit the Heaven & Hell website.