A representative at DIO's management company, Niji Management, Inc., has sent the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET regarding the reports that Ronnie James Dio will be collaborating with BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi on two tracks for an upcoming project tentatively dubbed "Black Sabbath: The Dio Years":
"With respect to the recent rumors of Ronnie James Dio's rejoining BLACK SABBATH, DIO manager Wendy Dio commented, 'Ronnie is not rejoining BLACK SABBATH. He's very happy with his own band and will be touring festivals next year with DIO, NOT Ozzfest. The writing project is just something that may happen between Tony and Ronnie if they have time between their own projects to write one or two songs to be included on the 'Black Sabbath: The Dio Years' box set.'"
As previously reported, Dio told BBC Radio 2's "Masters of Rock" program that "Tony Iommi and I are going to write a couple of tracks together for a project that I think is called 'Black Sabbath – The Dio Years'. So that'll be two unreleased tracks which I'm sure will be interesting to old SABBATH fans, and maybe [even] the new SABBATH fans."
To listen to a playback of the "Masters of Rock" program featuring Dio, click here (the above-mentioned quote can be heard approximately 36 minutes and 10 seconds into the show — at the 19:36:10 mark).
Dio recorded a total of three studio albums with BLACK SABBATH — 1980's "Heaven and Hell", 1981's "Mob Rules" and 1992's "Dehumanizer" — in addition to appearing on the classic live album "Live Evil" in 1983.
Dio is currently touring Europe with his solo band, which currently includes guitarist Doug Aldrich (WHITESNAKE) filling in for an injured Craig Goldy.