In a recent interview with Australia's Subculture Entertainment, Wendy Dio, the wife and longtime manager of legendary vocalist Ronnie James Dio (BLACK SABBATH, DIO, RAINBOW), discussed the licensing opportunities she pursues for her late husband's work. Since his 2010 passing, Wendy has kept Ronnie in the public eye largely through the much-debated Dio hologram tour. More recently, Wendy, in cooperation with BMG, released a series of vinyl reissues spanning Ronnie's solo career.
"Ronnie's passing will be ten years this year and we have two and a half million [fans] on Facebook," she said (hear audio below). "The movie 'Thor 4' [Editor's note: referring to the upcoming 'Thor: Love And Thunder'], they're using 'Rainbow In The Dark' in that movie. There's a TV show here called 'Stranger Things' and they just asked me permission to use the t-shirt for the next series. I found a young family called LILAC, and they do a fantastic rendition of 'Rainbow In The Dark'. I don't know if you've heard it. It's great. We're going to have them at 'Ride For Ronnie' [motorcycle ride and concert] performing. I think it's great. Young kids, this is the first time ever that kids are listening to their parents' music."
On the subject of how she decides where to license Ronnie's work, Wendy said "I think it has to do with how good the project is. Obviously, I can't say yes to everything, but we figure our which projects are good and we license it to them. I felt that the 'Thor 4' movie was perfect for it, and 'Stranger Things', young kids love that show. I really want to keep Ronnie's music and legacy alive, and that's the things I really want to do. That's my job in life right now."
As previously reported, Wendy is working with legendary rock journalist Mick Wall on Ronnie's long-awaited autobiography, tentatively due in 2021. The book was three-quarters written before the singer's death and which was originally scheduled to be published several years ago via MTV Books.
Also due in 2021 is a documentary that will cover Dio's career from his early days with ELF to his final project, HEAVEN & HELL. It is the first documentary about Dio to be fully authorized by the artist's estate. BMG is both financier and executive producer of the film, with all rights available worldwide.
Ronnie James Dio passed away from stomach cancer on May 16, 2010, at the age of 67. A few months after his death, MTV Books announced plans to release his memoir, which at the time was going to be called "Rainbow In The Dark: The Autobiography Of Ronnie James Dio".
Dio was renowned throughout the world as one of the greatest and most influential vocalists in heavy metal history. The singer, who was recording and touring with BLACK SABBATH offshoot HEAVEN & HELL before his illness, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in late 2009. He underwent chemotherapy and made what is now his final public appearance in April 2010 at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles.