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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soundoff (788 Responses)
  1. Tony

    damn all we have now its Corporate dudes like Ozzy

    May 16, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Metal Queen

    I wasn't a huge fan... but METAL has lost one of it's greatest voices... RIP

    May 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. frankie clinton

    don't know what to believe.... many sites out there saying that this is a hoax...that he did NOT in fact die... that he is still in hospital.... in fact..CNN is the ONLY place that has been still reporting this... they've made mistakes before...i guess we'll find out soon enough....but,, oh whatta shame if true....i saw dio w/sabbath and blue oyster cult...BLACK AND BLUE...30 yrs ago....

    May 16, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mike

    I too had the pleasure of meeting RJD a couple of times and he was truly a nice, humble, gentleman in every sense. And that voice was beyond belief. Rest in peace, Ronnie. Your work here affected many people in positive ways. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cody Tougas

    Man, go from watching VH1's countdown on the top metal songs ever and seeing Rainbow in the Dark and Holy Diver on the list, to this. Metal music and music took another huge hit today. R.I.P.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Steve

    His music affected my existence in a wonderful way. I am sure he is soaring on the greatest adventure of all

    May 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rock

    Sad to see him go. But thankful for what he gave. he will be missed! Rockin Roll Heaven....

    May 16, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Richard-Missouri

    So, sad. I was fortunate enough to have seen Ronnie James Dio with Rainbow and Sabbath, including Sabbath's last reunion tour. Had no idea he was even ill! He did not look 67, and his voice was still awesome! If you had not seen Sabbath with RJD live in recent years, check out their live DVD release from just a few years back. Awesome! R.I.P. Ronnie, You brought a lot of happiness and joy to people's lives through your music and your voice.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. brian

    he was a great guy. loved the music. very sad day for sure.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tracey

    What a huge loss to the music world...I will miss him!

    May 16, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ronnie James dIo

    U were really a true legend in the rock world, loved u in Black Sabbath and then ur Holy Diver...we love u Ronnie, RIP, sincere sympathy to wife Wendy and family...For all canadians we will miss u...

    May 16, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Brian K

    RIP Ronnie James Dio (I do the devil horn hand salute in your honor!)I saw him live 3 times, and he had one of the most amazing voices I've ever heard. He and his band Dio also formed Hear 'n Aid after the organizers of USA for Africa ignored the hard rock/heavy metal community. Dio was great, as was his work in Rainbow, but "Heaven and Hell" from his Black Sabbath days may very well be my favorite heavy metal song ever.

    Sing me a song, you're a singer....

    May 16, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Phillip May

    Sad day for Metal...Truly one of the top five rock and roll voices, in terms of that elusive blend of melody and power, of all time. R.I.P. Ronnie. This "Rainbow in the Dark" will be missed!

    May 16, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rob

    RIP Ronnie/ a bright and shinning star has gone out!!! big part of my youth

    May 16, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Overkill06040

    Truly and inspiration and leader in the metal music realm. LONG LIVE ROCK AND ROLL.

    RIP Ronnie, you will be missed

    May 16, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
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