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. Bill

    Real musicians live forever.

    Wannabes, poseurs and fame seekers are all that remains.

    When music has been decreed to be free, it becomes by extension worth nothing.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    I will miss you Ronnie! I stayed with you all the way through your career and have been lucky enough to catch a few shows. Now that your life here on earth has passed, I pray that God the father will welcome you into His Heavenly Kingdom, in Jesus name amen..I always knew you were a genuine good fellow with a big heart, you will be missed.....peace and love to the family..

    May 16, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Eric

    RIP Ronnie James Dio... Long Live Rock And Roll............

    May 16, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. picturechick

    Ronnie James Dio was a great musician and a terrific man. This is very sad news. RIP, Ronnie, and my deepest sympathies to his widow and the rest of his family.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joseph

    What can I say that others haven't said? R.I.P. RJD...This metal-head will always be thankful for everything you've done.

    And to Dan Wharton and Brent Coles...

    Take your bible-beating troll asses elsewhere

    May 16, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |

    Mr. Dio was perhaps one of the most talented voices in rock music today- he had a range that rivaled and often exceeded those of classically trained vocalists. His vision of Rock and metal in particular led to some of the greatest works to date, like "Heaven and Hell", and "The Mob Rules". These is now a void that will not soon be filled-
    Rest in Peace, Mr. Dio

    May 16, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. demonfeed

    I miss you aleady, Dio. You were an inspiration to me and helped me gain a love of music. You will be missed, and I wish the best to your family, your friends, and everyone who held you dear. This is a very sad day.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BlackjacK

    He was sooo loved in Russia as I'm sure in any country wherever he went. Everybody who met him in person or took a phone interview were amazed by what a great (and humble!) character he was. But even that pales in comparison with his genius, whichever band he sang for – Rainbow, Sabbath or Dio. It's definitely Heaven, Mr. RJD. We Rock!

    May 16, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DOC

    Truly a legend in the music world........but, now that he has it Heaven or Hell?

    May 16, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dave

    Rock on Ronnie, you will be missed.. my heart goes out to Family and Friends

    May 16, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |

    About friggin' time CNN posts some REAL NEWS on here. Maybe try doing an article about the man's life. The most humble, yet talented individual to come along in many years. The more you saw him in interviews the more you realized he was so special and an incredibly individual with a good soul.

    Miss ya, Ronnie!


    May 16, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. smmfdyb

    RIP Ronnie James Dio - Pass The Torch!!!!

    May 16, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rosey

    I actually met dia after a concert in Pocatello Idaho. My roomate had designed a picture for Dio based on all of his album covers. He had given it one of the Rodies, he wetn and got Dio and he spent 20 minutes talking to us. I was amazed at how down to earth he really seemed to us. Really nice guy very aprecaiteive to the artwork. I did loose touch with the roomate so give me a shout if your reading this....

    May 16, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. DonnafromVirginia

    I've listened to RJD since I was just a kid. He will be missed 🙁

    May 16, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jay cruz

    Heaven just got the lead singer they were waiting for. Rest in pease dio

    May 16, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
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