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. DonnafromVirginia

    I forgot \m/

    May 16, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bryan kaempf

    i met ronnie in 1996.what anice guy! i hope thers a tribute album for him or someting, r/i/p/ ronnie,

    May 16, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. GB

    Dio & Metallica, all I listened to growing up, thanks Mr. Dio for keeping me sane. RIP

    May 16, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jason

    R.I.P. Mr Dio

    You took Black Sabbath to new heights and the music was better for it. I had the honor of seeing the very first U.S. show of the newly formed Heaven & Hell in Arizona several years ago. What a treat. Long Live Rock & Roll

    You ARE the Rainbow in the Dark Mr Dio!! \m/

    May 16, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Trash

    The Man on the Silver Mountain. You will live forever man.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    As nice as he was talented, he will certainly be missed. Condolences to Wendy.

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

    Rest In Peace, Ronnie.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 5t1v

    i loved this guy from Rainbow to Black Sabbath H&H and Mob Rules. I didnt follow the solo stuff too much, i guess i grew out of it by then. But I loved that he took the lead in sabbath he was perfect for it and really brought new life to Black Sabbath for a short time. His vocal style was sophisticated and classy and his writing was vivid. He will be missed, indeed.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sean

    I find it a hilarious that this article with exceptionally poor editing (as the last third of the article is a repeat of the middle third) is posted on the same day as an article bemoaning the common typo...

    egg on your face, CNN, egg on your face.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. christopher k.

    rainbow "rising" and "heaven and hell" will always be two of my all time favorite rock albums!

    May 16, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ConcreteBass

    I think that RJD would want us to celebrate his career rather than mourn his loss. I, for one, will be blasting "Mob Rules" and reflecting on the wonderful Dio performances I had the good fortune to attend. R.I.P Mr. Dio, you will be missed!

    May 16, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. KikiDaFriki

    RIP, Ronnie. You will be missed...

    May 16, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Len

    This man...this legend...this is the worst news...

    I think I can say for everyone in here giving their hears to your family and their prayers to Ronnie.

    For me, when I was a kid, this man, in his many roles in various bands, including the Dio Band, unlocked so many doors, not only to my imagination, but to look at writing and playing songs as a means to escape the so-called oppression of like.

    This is to you:

    \m/...( _ _ )...\m/

    May 16, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tootles

    what a sad thing to hear>> one of my all time favs. i've always said if i was stranded on a desert island, with 5 albums,2 of them would be>> heaven and hell by sabbath& mob rules by sabbath.>>thats saying alot!!!!!>>GREAT TALANT!!

    r.i.p. ronnie>>>hang in there wendy>>>
    ty for the music>>tom and angie

    May 16, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Spendlove

    R.I.P Dio... you will be sorely missed.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
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