Ronnie James Dio’s Widow Re-releasing Hear N’ Aid All-Star Project
November 4, 2011
During the 1980s, charity singles like “Do They Know It’s Christmas” and “We Are the World” topped the charts — but not in the metal world. So Dio members Vivian Campbell and Jimmy Bain decided to do something about what they felt was a slight of their genre, and spoke to lead singer Ronnie James Dio about putting together their own charity project.
The result was the song “Stars,” featuring members of Motley Crue, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, Blue Oyster Cult and even Spinal Tap. The group — which called itself Hear N’ Aid — also enlisted Ted Nugent and Yngvie Malmsteen to record the track and put out an album, Stars, featuring live cuts by Kiss, Rush, Dio and more.
The track should be a part of Eighties lore — it features Dio and Rob Halford, among others, on lead vocals. But due to contract differences with the labels, the song and album weren’t released until New Year’s Day, 1986, well after the success of its predecessors and has since been largely forgotten.
But Ronnie’s widow Wendy Dio wants to fix that. “I’m going to rerelease [Stars] because it only ever came out on vinyl and cassette. So it’ll come out on DVD and CD,” she tells Rolling Stone. “I have loads of outtakes for the video.”