The 68-year-old bassist passed away on 23 January (16) onboard Def Leppard's Hysteria On The High Seas cruise, on which he was due to perform with Last In Line, the band he helped put together with his former Dio bandmates.

Vinny, who performed with Jimmy in both Dio and Last In Line, has now revealed the musician was struck down with a bout of pneumonia before the cruise, but he is convinced Jimmy had no idea he was also suffering from lung cancer.

"Jimmy didn't know he had lung cancer, but he did know he had pneumonia and was receiving treatment for it. This didn't stop him or slow him down," Vinny explained according to Blabbermouth.net. "We had four rehearsals four hours a day, then a flight to Miami for the Def Leppard rock cruise. A pre-sail gig and soundcheck was scheduled for the following day.

"At the gig, Jimmy played great and even sang that night while holding a heavy bass guitar on his back, never complaining or asking for help. Next day, we preceded to board the cruise ship for a five-day voyage of which we were scheduled to play Sunday, the fourth day. That gig never happened, as Jimmy passed away in his cabin the night before. We were devastated.

"Jimmy was a trooper.... He didn't want to let anyone down. I don't know anyone that would have attempted this schedule while being this sick and not feeling well. A trooper... Our prayers go out to his family and so many friends and fans who will miss the amazing person that was Jimmy Bain."