Tony Iommi has paid tribute to his recently-departed bandmate, Ronnie James Dio, issuing the following statement on his MySpace.
"My Dear Friend Ronnie
Yesterday 16th May. . .
My dear, dear friend Ronnie James Dio passed away at 7.45am LA time. I've been in total shock I just can't believe he's gone. Ronnie was one of the nicest people you could ever meet, we had some fantastic times together. Ronnie loved what he did, making music and performing on stage. He loved his fans so much. He was a kind man and would put himself out to help others. I can honestly say it's truly been an honor to play at his side for all these years, his music will live on forever. Our thoughts are with Wendy Dio who stood by Ronnie until the end, he loved her very much. The man with the magic voice is a star amongst stars, a true professional. I'll miss you so much my dear friend.
RIP - Tony"
Tony Iommi played alongside Dio in Black Sabbath and more recently, in Heaven and Hell.