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. JJ


    May 16, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Warren

    Ronnie, you will be dearly missed! My life was changed forever by your beautiful & melodic yet haunting voice. You DEFINED what a real metal singer should be and had the most pivotal & powerful voice in Metal history. It is because of you I chose to pursue singing and have never regretted that decision. May God Bless you & keep you until we meet again......

    May 16, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Beast

    When i was young growin up in the late 80's i remember hearing Dio for the first time, Rainbow In The Dark, Holy Diver. Dio was the bomb, his albums, and memmory will live on forever "Rip." Ronnie James Dio.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. saji

    You rocked us all in Egypt and the rest of the arab world may your soul rest in peace, and your music to live on and on and on and oooon in heaven not hell

    May 16, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mike

    The man who put fear into the word Forever. A sad day, Rest in Peace.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. David Stahl

    His voice is eternal, and now he is immortal. Every time we raise the horns, Ronnie lives. This is a terribly sad day for those of us who are fans. I've seen him live many times, and his music has been and continues to be the soundtrack to my life. He spoke for us in many ways, and became very close with his fans. His music saw me threw very dark times. I will terribly miss him. This hurts terribly and I feel a great emptiness. Though we will continue on, nothing will ever be the same again.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dwight Ritter - Austin Texas

    DIO had the greatest voice that music has ever known. RIP Ronnie. You were the greatest.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Paul Hawklord

    Devestated! Condolences to his family forever in our ears and hearts Ronnie A TRUE metal god!

    May 16, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bob

    Ronnie James Dio is now officially a LEGEND. Looks like CNN needs some help in the biography section...the article does touch on how brilliant Ronnie was.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Memphis Dave

    A fantastic voice, and a class act all the way. RJD will be remembered in rock / metal history, that's for certain. I'm saddened to hear the news.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Scott Stromboe

    Man what a loss... An AMAZING vocalist and a really cool dude... RIP

    May 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. James

    My condolences go to all the family, friends, and fans of Ronnie James Dio. For some reason Holy Diver was a theme song for my unit in Iraq, don't exactly know why but it was an anthem to us. Great song from a one of the greatest men in metal. RIP RJD.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. martin

    Rest In Peace Ronnie you will be missed

    May 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Junior

    R.I.P Eterno Seja pequeno Grande Mestre o Heavy Metal Deve a Tdo a vc \,,/ .

    May 16, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bill Schacht

    The legend will live on.... the King of Metal, as far as I am concerned.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
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