Wendy Dio says Ronnie James Dio "was always overlooked" during his lifetime

Ronnie James Dio and widow Wendy Dio
(Image credit: Wendy Dio)

Wendy Dio, the widow and longtime manager of rock legend Ronnie James Dio has discussed his legacy and influence on fans in a new interview.

While speaking to Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio about the forthcoming career-spanning documentary about the singer, Dio: Dreamers Never Die, Wendy opened up about her intentions behind trying to carry on Dio's legacy.

"I just think that Ronnie was always overlooked during the time that he was alive," she says. "And after his passing, I just felt that his music was something that he wrote for the fans, he performed for the fans.

"He loved his fans and that should continue on and carry on. That's one of the reasons why we did the documentary, was so that people could understand him, understand his life and where he came from and the trials and tribulations he had. He wasn't an overnight success. He paid his dues, for sure. And also to get his message out there. Ronnie's message was always, like, follow your heart, follow your dreams [and] don't give up."

In the same interview, Wendy, who executive produced the docufilm, reveals her first reaction to seeing Dio: Dreamers Never Die, which will hit cinemas worldwide via Trafalgar Releasing and BMG for two days only on Wednesday, September 28 and Sunday, October 2.

"When they put the film together and we had a private screening for me, it was my first chance to see all the little bits put together, and it was very bittersweet" Wendy recalls. 

"I broke down and cried. And it was just exactly how I wanted Ronnie to be portrayed. They had done such a magnificent job. And that was just really, really — after all the hard work we all put into it, it was, like, 'Woah.' I think the fans are absolutely gonna love it."

Dio: Dreamers Never Die has been fully authorised by the artist’s estate, and explores the singer’s incredible rise from a ‘50s doo-wop crooner to his early rock days in Elf and Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, to replacing Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath, and finally cementing his rock star status with his own band.

The film incorporates never-before-seen footage and personal photos, as well as offering intimate scenes with his closest peers, family, and friends, among them Wendy Dio, Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice, Glenn Hughes, Lita Ford, Judas Priest's Rob Halford, Sebastian Bach and Jack Black.

Watch the trailer below:

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.