Wendy Dio is taking critics of the Ronnie James Dio hologram head on, while work continues on another iteration of the new technology.

"I get called cash cow. Well, actually it’s costing us a hell of a lot of money," she tells Ultimate Classic Rock. "We didn’t need to do it, but we’re doing things that we always did. Ronnie did things for his fans, and we’re trying to continue doing that."

Dio's widow launched the hologram, which was created by Eyellusion, during a performance at last August's Wacken Open Air Festival of "We Rock" with Dio Disciples. Since then, it's been featured at the annual Pollstar Awards. Plans for a full-fledged tour of the hologram are now moving forward, despite the occasional mixed review from those who haven't bought into the concept.

"A lot of people don’t like the idea and some people do," Dio says. "It’s done with love for the fans. It’s for those who would love to see him on the stage again with his bandmates, and for those who never got the chance to see him."

She notes the idea dates back to before Ronnie succumbed to stomach cancer on May 16, 2010, at age 67.

"We always tried to make a hologram, Ronnie and I," she says. "In 1986, those who saw the Sacred Heart tour saw that we did a rear projection of Ronnie’s head in a crystal ball, talking. Ronnie was always very very fascinated by Disney World and all the holograms that were in there. So I think he’d give his blessing to this. He was also an innovator in music, so why not an innovator in technology?"

Details on those previously announced concert appearances are still taking shape. Wendy says the updated hologram will perform at least six classic Dio songs, though they've set no firm date for unveiling it just yet.

"It's a long process; it takes a long time," she says. "It won’t be ready until September or October – maybe this year, maybe not. But we’re working on that, and we’re hoping to put that out."

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