Who is Rita Haney? SOme people might recognize her name as the person who spent years as Darrell ‘Dimebag’ Abbott’s girlfriend. Others are sure to recognize her for her own contributions to the music industry. Whether you think you know a little or a lot about her, there are probably things you don’t know about this dynamo of an individual. Here are 10 of them.
1. She’s still dedicated to her boyfriend after all these years
Known by friends and fans alike as Dimebag, she and her musician boyfriend were together for a number of years prior to his death. By all accounts, the two were actually quite close. It’s easy to understand why. They both shared an innate love for music, not to mention sharing their love of music with other people who were equally as passionate. They lived something of a fairytale life, one that many people would like to experience for themselves. Even though it didn’t last as long as she would have liked, she’s very grateful for having had the experience.
2. She keeps his memory alive by doing events that raise money
She and Pantera band member Dimebag were so close that she does two different events in his memory every single year. One of those events is a barbecue and impromptu jam session that involves some of the most influential rock musicians of all time. Another involves what amounts to a VIP Poker Run, with motorcycles running all over the state of Texas. In both cases, the idea is to remember Dimebag and raise money in his honor. She’s been doing the barbecue event for no less than the past 11 years and the poker run has been going on a few years longer than that. For her, it’s a way to keep his memory alive and do something that benefits other people at the same time.
3. She enjoys spending time around genuine people
She has always commented that she enjoys being around people who don’t put forth a facade. She has repeatedly said that Dimebag was a very genuine individual who was exactly the same out of the public eye as he was in front of it. In fact, she says that is what attracted her to him in the first place. According to comments that she has made over the years, she is quite put off by people who aren’t who they pretend to be. As such, she prefers seeking out individuals that are honest, truthful and genuine, far preferring to spend her time around these types of individuals as opposed to the ones who are merely putting on a front because they think it makes them look good.
4. She has plenty of talent in her own right
Many times over the last several years, she has lended her own talents as a musician to various bands. While she is largely known for being Dimebag’s girlfriend, that should never take away from her own abilities in the music industry. She is quite capable of holding her own in a band and has proven that fact on numerous occasions. The fact that she prefers to focus on Dimebag’s accomplishments should not deter from her own.
5. She had a health scare not too long ago
A few years ago, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She says it was one of the most frightening times in her life, one that was filled with uncertainty. She has openly talked about the fact that she had to undergo treatment for almost an entire year in order to get control of her health. She also tries to make other people aware of the fact that while ovarian cancer is easily one of the deadliest forms of gynecological cancers, it can often be treated if it is caught early enough. In fact, she has made it her mission to let other people know of her own struggles with ovarian cancer, all in the hopes that she can prevent someone else from going through something similar.
6. She believes in lending her voice to the voiceless
Between the fact that she routinely speaks out about her struggles with cancer and her efforts to do routine fundraising events in Dimebag’s memory, it is easy to see that she prefers to use her voice for something positive. As such, she tries to ensure that individuals who may not otherwise have a voice have her in their corner. She raises money for a number of good causes within the community, all while using her own personal experiences to influence the way she interacts with the public. A perfect example involves her struggle with ovarian cancer. As a direct result of her struggles, she now speaks out about it in an attempt to help other people get the screening they need so that they don’t have to die from something that could have potentially been treated, if only they had seen a doctor about it earlier. She uses every aspect of her life to try and make life easier for other people.
7. She prefers to keep her private life out of the public eye
While she is more than happy to do fundraising events and speak out on issues of importance, she also has a private side to her. In fact, she largely prefers to keep her private life out of the public eye, except in those rare cases where she believes that speaking up might potentially help someone else.
8. She’s all about the Pantera tribute tour
It might not be all that surprising to realize that she supports the Pantera tribute tour. However, she has repeatedly taken things to the next level, even going as far as saying that if possible, she’d like to be in the audience for every single show they do. That is quite an endorsement, to say the least. More importantly, it is one that she believes has been well earned.
9. She’s a fan of Rex Brown
When she found out that Brown would be taking the helm to lead the Pantera tribute band, she was over the moon. As previously mentioned, she enjoys being around genuine people. She has commented that she believes he is the right choice because she thinks he will do Dimebag’s memory justice.
10. She wonders what would have happened to Pantera if Dimebag hadn’t passed away
She says that she often wonders whether or not Pantera might have eventually gotten back together if Dimebag were still alive. After speculating about this matter for a number of years, she now says that she believes they would have.