One of rock and roll’s most legendary voices, Ronnie James Dio was silenced nearly two years ago after a very public battle with cancer. To honor the fallen rocker, a new tribute CD is being organized and lending a hand are none other than Metallica.

“We reached out to Wendy Dio about wanting to be a part of the Dio tribute that’s getting put together,” said Metallica’s James Hetfield in an interview with Metal Hammer magazine.

The project is being put together by Ronnie’s widow, Wendy Dio and will also include such heavyweights as Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Sebastian Bach, Dave Grohl, Ian Gillan of Deep Purple and the one and only Lemmy Kilmister. “We’re very honored to be a part of a celebration of Ronnie’s life and his great contribution” added Hetfield.
The tribute disc is being set for a late 2012 release. “I’m letting them pick what songs they wanna do in the way they wanna do it,” Wendy told Artisan News. So far Halford is pegged for a rendition of Rainbow’s ‘Long Live Rock And Roll,’ while Grohl has set his sights on Black Sabbath’s ‘The Mob Rules.’

In addition, Metallica will also be tipping their collective hats to one of their bigger influences, Deep Purple. “We were asked if we’d contribute to the anniversary of (Deep Purple’s 1972 album) ‘Machine Head’, too” continues Lars, “we can’t turn that down. We’re circling the Dio and Purple catalogs and hopefully we’ll come up with something that is worthy of these wonderful men.”