Years before the announcement of Whitney Houston’s hologram tour came the Dio hologram concert. The concert saw the late Ronnie James Dio tour the US in the form of a hologram, alongside a live band that included former Dio members Craig Goldie, Simon Wright and Scott Warren.

While the tour, dubbed Dio Returns, was certainly impressive, it was a costly affair with Dio’s widow and manager Wendy Dio revealing the hologram cost “over two million dollars [USD] to make it.”

“I don’t know when we’re ever going to recoup that. It was an experiment. It’s something that the band enjoys doing, and it’s something that I think the fans that have come to see it love it. I get great reviews from the real fans of Ronnie’s,” Wendy sai during an appearance on BBC Radio.

The Dio Returns tour which ran in the US from May – June 2019 featured a hologram of the Dio frontman and was widely met with criticism from fans. Music publication Kerrang even labelled it as “awful” and said it “needs to stop”.

“Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion,” Wendy said in response to the backlash. “It’s a special show, it’s a tribute to Ronnie.

“His band members, who played with him for the last 17 years of his life, they’re all there + plus Tim Ripper Owens, who was a protege of Ronnie’s, Oni Logan, who was very close to our family…

“It’s just something that is an experience, it’s not just a hologram of Ronnie that comes in and out about five times, but it’s an experience. You can have fire in hologram without it really being there.”

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Former guitarist for Dio, Doug Aldrich, who wasn’t part of the hologram Dio Returns Ttur isn’t convinced that Dio would be a fan of the show.

“I love hearing those songs, I love Ronnie, so that would be cool, but I think Ronnie would be pissed. I think so. Ronnie would be, like, ‘C’mon, let me be dead in peace!’ Ronnie was a no-frills guy. He was not down for stuff like that,” Aldrich told White Line Fever podcast.

Ronnie James Dio passed away in 2010 from metastasized stomach cancer at the age of 67.

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Listen to ‘Rainbow In The Dark’ by Dio: