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Ronnie James Dio Returns to the Stage as a Hologram

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A hologram of Ronnie James Dio joined Dio Disciples for a raucous version of 1984’s “We Rock” at the 2016 Wacken Open Air Festival. Eyellusion created the image, which even offered Dio’s signature devil-horns hand signal.

The effect was reportedly a year in the making. “When I first experienced the full production of Ronnie performing with his band as a hologram, I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears,” Dio’s widow Wendy tells Rolling Stone. “With Eyellusion, we have been able to get Ronnie back up onstage where he belongs, ensuring that his music and memory live on. I want Ronnie’s fans around the world to share this experience.”

Dio’s actual vocals were used in tonight’s live performance by Dio Disciples, which features a group of his former collaborators. The appearance of Dio’s hologram was a surprise to everyone in the audience.

“We know how much the fans miss Ronnie and the special and unequaled element that he brought to his live performances,” Dio Disciples guitarist Craig Goldy added. “Being able to recreate that same kind of magic for his fans at Wacken was incredible. For so many years Ronnie always invested big in his live shows as his way to give back to the fans, and that is exactly what we aimed to do with this latest performance.”

Dio Disciples plan to continue to use the hologram during a 2017 tour. “We can’t wait to bring this experience to even more of his fans and perhaps even a newer generation when we bring this incredible live experience on the road next year,” Goldy said.

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