DEEP PURPLE vocalist Ian Gillan has released the following statement regarding the passing of legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, HEAVEN & HELL, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW):
"My dear friend Ronnie,
"Departed but not gone. Resting peacefully (for a while) but never forgotten.
"I've had a sackful of mail since your passing; a sharing of grief and sorrow.
"We all remember your huge voice, of course — my ears are still ringing: Your wicked humour and sense of decency: The utter professionalism and personality that inspired so much respect from your friends in music.
"The list goes on but the quality that stands out above all others is your enduring generosity. The one thing that we all treasure, the gift you gave us was your kindness.
"We all agree you were the kindest man we ever knew.
"Catch up later, mate."
Ronnie James Dio was one of the featured guests on Gillan's all-star retrospective disc, "Gillan's Inn", which came out in 2006. The CD saw Gillan revisiting a number of songs from throughout his career, which included his long tenure in DEEP PURPLE, his solo work, and a short-lived membership in BLACK SABBATH.