May 16th, 2010
06:56 PM ET

Metal rocker Ronnie James Dio has died, wife says

Heavy metal rocker Ronnie James Dio died Sunday morning after a battle with stomach cancer, his wife announced.

"Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45 a.m. 16th May," Wendy Dio said in a message posted on his official website.

Dio, 67, followed Ozzy Osbourne as Black Sabbath's lead vocalist in 1979.

"Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away," she wrote. "Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all."

Born Ronald James Padavona in 1942, Dio's professional music career began as a high school student in the late 1950s.

His 1960s rock group The Electric Elves evolved into Elf by the early 1970s, when the group played heavy blues rock.

Dio's rock became darker with his band Rainbow, which he left in 1979 to join Black Sabbath.

Black Sabbath released three albums with Dio, including "Heaven and Hell" in 1980, "Mob Rules" in 1981 and "Live Evil" in 1982.

Dio left that band in 1982, but he had a brief reunion with the group a decade later. He formed the group Dio in 1982. The group continued to perform until his illness.

His last public appearance was in April at the Revolver Golden Gods  Awards when he accepted a vocalist of the year award his work on last  year's Heaven and Hell album. Dio appeared frail, but he was able to  speak when accepting his award.

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  1. Tom

    You failed to mention "Dream Evil" in the list of Dio albums, one of my favorites. R.I.P Ronnie

    May 16, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Rainbow

    I agree with the derogatory comments towards CNN about this article!!! Why didn't someone on staff notice the obvious double talking before posting such a farce? Even though Stevie Nicks and Led Zeppelin have always been my favorite rockers, with my name being Rainbow, how could I not respect his music and his song, "Rainbow in the Dark". My brother is a much bigger fan of Ronnie and I had to call him and give him the news. Now I know what to get my brother for Christmas...Ronnie James Dio!!! -Rainbow (Columbus, Ohio)

    May 16, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Ernie

    I agree..

    May 17, 2010 at 12:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Ernie

    with Bert that is....

    May 17, 2010 at 12:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Ernie

    Rainbow ... You're going to purchase something evil for Christ-mas?? Oh, the irony.

    May 17, 2010 at 12:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Belli

    DIO he was the greatest, thanks Ronnie for all your music and being such an inspiration for all the new upcoming ROCK bands

    May 17, 2010 at 12:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Craig K

    Bert...Dramatic was his garb, you my friend wear one of torn cloth.

    May 17, 2010 at 12:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Belli

    Thanks both Ernie and Bert for being such pr**ks.Please close your computers and listen to your beatles

    May 17, 2010 at 12:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Billy M. from MI

    Black Sabbath 'Heaven and Hell' is REQUIRED listening for any new metal fan. RIP Ronnie!

    May 17, 2010 at 12:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Bill From Fairfax

    "And all the news just repeats itself, like some forgotten dream, that we both seen" John Prine, Hello in There. It's not about the subject, just the reporting and editing...

    May 17, 2010 at 12:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Bert

    Belli (button) ...

    Please listen to some better music in the future ... it may prevent further brain damage..

    May 17, 2010 at 12:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. David

    Ronnie, you will be dearly missed! Rest in peace and keep rocking in the afterworld!

    May 17, 2010 at 12:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. MAdeeb

    ".........The lover of life's not a sinner
    The ending is just a beginner
    The closer you get to the meaning
    the sooner you'll know that you're dreaming
    So it's on and on and on, oh it's on and on and on
    It goes on and on and on, Heaven and Hell..............."

    Dio, you'll be cherished and missed by all true metalheads........forever........................

    May 17, 2010 at 12:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Bert

    David ... you can't rock if you're dead. It's really pretty simple.

    May 17, 2010 at 12:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Boring Old Fart

    (playing "The Mob Rules" on the CD-player, while drinking heavily to drown the pain)

    May 17, 2010 at 12:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
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