RONNIE JAMES DIO's death was a big shock to his HEAVEN & HELL bandmate Tony Iommi - because he was convinced the rocker was beating stomach cancer.
The Black Sabbath founder has revealed he spoke to Dio just days before his death in May (10) and the singer seemed upbeat about his treatment.
Iommi, who fronted a Dio tribute concert at the High Voltage festival in London at the weekend (24Jul10), says, "He said, 'I've gotta have this new chemo, but I think it's working.' And that was the real big shock of it, because within a week of that, he had passed away... We didn't expect to lose (him).
"Ronnie was always a person you thought would always be there... We had a great relationship."
Iommi insists the High Voltage Dio tribute is the only one he and his Heaven & Hell bandmates will take part in.
He adds, "He loved his fans and that's why we wanna do this show, because we owe it to the fans to do this show.
"We're not cashing in, it's all for charity. It all goes to charity. We just wanna do it for him and the fans."
The BBC drama starring Aidan Turner returns to BBC One on September 4th.