Why Did People Not Believe That Ronnie James Dio Died?

Ronnie James Dio. Photo: Chiaki Nozu/WireImage

Ronnie James Dio. Photo: Chiaki Nozu/WireImage

The passing of a legend happened over the weekend as Ronnie James Dio passed away.  The question is, when did he really die?  I know for most, it does not matter.

I was told early Saturday evening that Ronnie James Dio passed away from a battle with stomach cancer.  I was asked to sit on the story for a couple hours so family could know.  To me, a couple means 2 hours, and I went with the story just before midnight on the East Coast, Saturday night. 

Within minutes, my story hit one of the biggest metal sites on the planet, blabbermouth.com and then an hour later, metalsludge.com took my story without credit, copying the text word for word. 

Someone then edited Dio’s wikipedia page to say he died.  I had nothing to do with that.  The comments started rolling in to name my source and, obviously, I was not going to do that.  I sent the news to TMZ.com as well but as usual, never heard back from them.

Then Blabbermouth.com gets word from Wendy Dio that he is not dead and metalsludge.com tries to retract the story and put some of the blame on me.  Funny, but when they went with the story, no credit, now that they think it is wrong, they name me. 

I contact my source and they tell me Ronnie has died, it is just that Wendy has not contacted all the family yet and does not want it to be public.  Wendy gave a hint as she said “he is not doing well” but at the same time, Rio’s official page and Facebook page went quiet.  No denial on either site but only an unofficial Twitter account.

I read on sludge and blabbermouth of people wishing me harm for putting out a story that he died.  I can understand where Wendy is coming from and out of respect and talking with my source, locked the post.  I hated doing that but if not all family knew and that is something that Wendy wanted, I would lock it.  My source said they will be talking crap about you tonight but by tomorrow morning, they will know you were legit.

Wendy made the announcement that he died on Sunday morning, May 16th, 2010 although he passed away Saturday night, May 15th, 2010.   The reason I am told is that some family did see my story on the sites and were hurt they did not know.  So, by Wendy changing the date, they are comforted in the solice that they knew first.

When the news hit that he did die, because of the date change, they thought my story was a “hoax” and the credit of blame that Blabbermouth.com and Metalsludge.com were throwing on me the night before, they were not crediting me by being right. 

L.A. radio DJ’s that talked about Ronnie on Sunday and were close friends even said he passed away last night, referring to Saturday night.  Good Day L.A. got it right as well by reporting that he passed away over the weekend and did not say the date of Sunday. 

Just to see E! online and other news outlets state that his death came from his wikipedia page and not from Drfunkenberry.com did upset me.  You are willing to give me the blame but again, when the story is true, none of the credit.

I went from being hated on for saying he died, to when the truth came out, being hated on for being first.  Look, I wish I was wrong.  It’s not about  that.  But when you “lift” info as your own, then retract it and then blame it on someone else only when it is true, not credit the source, that is the distasteful journalism.

I broke the news because I felt the fans of Ronnie James Dio deserved to know.  They loved him.  He was one of the greatest voices in all of metal, if not the greatest period.  I did not know I would create such a firestorm because I thought it would be public knowledge shortly after I broke it. 

People have asked for an explanation and that is all I am giving.  It is not going to bring Dio back, but I did what I thought was fair and right.  Regardless, a legend passed away this weekend and in the end, that’s all that matters.-Dr.FB



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  • Kera
    Posted at 05:55h, 24 May

    OMG you are guys are tre lame. Perez used to bitch about outing celebs n then People magazine getting the credit when they came out after he outed them.

    Regardless of it being a death or someone being outed or breaking an artist here before anyone else, if you are not getting credit, I can understand bitching about it.

    It’s about the person being taken as a reliable news source. he was asked to wait a couple of hours so he did what he was told to do.

    Doc doesn’t go after celebs. Actually, he humanizes them a little bit by reporting on a lot of the charities they support and some stuff that goes overlooked.

    I am sure he rather be known for other things but look at what happened with TMZ broke MJ’s death? Instant credibilty. I think that is where the doc is coming from.

  • FindJesus
    Posted at 21:08h, 23 May

    Wow. It is really amazing that you are so worried about being the first to report a man’s death and that you were not credited properly for it on another site. Someone asked you to wait to post the story, and you only waited 2 hours till you leaked information, just to be the first, even though all the family had not yet known.

    Out of all the amazingly important things going on in this world, your life consists of reporting the happenings of celebrities. I don’t think I’ll ever understand this mind frame. People forget celebrities are humans, not some character with no emotions or real relationships and problems. I saw you do the same with Elizabeth Taylor and I think it is absolutely ridiculous.

  • drfunkenberry
    Posted at 17:01h, 20 May

    Yup. Check original post. Your pingback is still there.

    Also check the blabbermouth forum. They have al of what was deleted.

  • Metal Sludge
    Posted at 16:33h, 20 May

    Any links, or screen captures to back up your cry for attention?

    Metal $ludge

  • drfunkenberry
    Posted at 13:23h, 20 May

    Deny. Deny. Deny. Your site was linking to mine as well as your message boards. How do you think I knew?

    Even blabbermouth.com called you out for it motard.

    Btw, if you are going to “dis” me, use something from this century instead of material Andrew Dice Clay used in 1987. 🙂

  • Metal Sludge
    Posted at 11:49h, 20 May

    Your facts are still screwed up.

    Metal Sludge NEVER copied your text, post, or info anywhere. And never posted a thing about this until it was officially released by Wendy Dio. Even though we too were getting reports that he was on his death bed on Saturday evening, Metal Sludge did nothing until Sunday morning.

    Let me repeat, Metal Sludge never posted ANYTHING about this, never retracted anything, and never blamed you either. Oddly, this is our first knowledge of you and your site.

    As for what fans, and the general public said or posted on the Metal Sludge forums is a different story. There was no less than 20 threads on this topic by Sunday morning with a potpourri of rumor, thoughts and opinions.

    Rest in Peace to Ronnie & to you, eat a dick!

    Metal Sludge

  • gaininja
    Posted at 00:23h, 20 May

    Good for you, Doc – for doing the right thing and being open about it. Shame everyone else can’t be as honest.

  • LexAve456
    Posted at 10:43h, 18 May

    Doc, you did what you had to do and I for one appreciate that. It’s a damn shame that the mainstream media won’t do the right thing and acknowledge your work for being the first but that will change soon, I have no doubt. It was classy that you followed the wishes of the Dio family and even though I’m not into Heavy Metal, I thank you for letting us know what happened with Ronnie.

  • Georgie
    Posted at 09:12h, 18 May

    Oh YW
    You are quite clearly not one of the sheep. My experience of this site is of high standards and integrity! 😉

  • drfunkenberry
    Posted at 08:56h, 18 May

    Thanks Georgie. I appreciate it. If people have criticism of me, please stay on topic. Just because you come here for something does not mean everyone else comes here for the same thing.

  • Georgie
    Posted at 08:54h, 18 May

    Doc, you don’t need to justify this. It’s obvious that EVEN if the bloke weren’t dead yet he was clearly on the brink and was as good as.
    You got the scoop and all those greasers are just having a paddy and need to get over themselves! LOL

    RIP Jimbo

  • drfunkenberry
    Posted at 08:51h, 18 May


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