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Heaven & Hell Cancel Summer Tour, Dio Continues Cancer Battle

Ronnie James DioWhen Heaven & Hell frontman Ronnie James Dio received the award for Most Metal Vocalist at the 2010 Revolver Golden Gods Awards on April 8, the vocalist seemed to be in good spirits and was optimistic about beating his battle with stomach cancer, which he was diagnosed with in November 2009. In addition, he and the group said they planned to proceed with their world tour this summer. But this morning, Heaven & Hell announced that all summer plans would be canceled while Dio continues his cancer treatment.

“We have to announce that all forthcoming Heaven & Hell European shows have been canceled as sadly Ronnie isn’t well enough to tour this summer,” said the band in an official statement. “We hope that everyone understands and want to thank fans and industry colleagues for their continuing support at this time.”

Later, Dio issued a statement on his official Web site: “I would like to voice my great disappointment on the cancellation of the Heaven and Hell summer tour. [My wife and manager] Wendy, my doctors and I have worked so hard to make it happen for all of you, the ones we care so much about, that this setback could be devastating, but we will not let it be. With your continued love and support, we will carry on and thrive. There will be other tours, more music, more life and much more magic.”

In a video interview with Artisan News service the night of the Revolver Golden Gods Awards, Dio talked about his ongoing battle. “I feel good and bad at times. It’s a long process. Chemotherapy is a … I never realized what a difficult thing it was to go through. It’s a real cumulative effect. The more you have, the more it piles up on top and it takes longer and longer to get over it.”

He added that the treatment was making him lose his appetite, a common side effect of chemotherapy along with nausea. “I don’t like to eat anyway, so I guess that’s OK. But I know I have to. But this makes it very, very hard.”

Dio added that he remains positive and plans to win his fight with cancer. “If you’re determined to beat it then you have to go with what you believe is going to beat it for you,” he said. “I go to a great hospital in Houston called MD Anderson, which I think is the best hospital in the world, I have the best doctor in the world, Dr. Ajani, who I really trust and I really believe in, so I think I’ve done all the right things. It makes me feel positive about my life and positive that there is a lot more of it to live.”

Heaven & Hell’s summer tour was scheduled to launch June 13 at Nova Rock Festival in Nickelsdorf, Austria. Canceled dates include a headline set at Bloodstock’s 10th anniversary festival and appearances at Sonisphere in Switzerland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.

We wish Dio a speedy and complete recovery.

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