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. Owen

    Condolences to loved ones. Heaven and Hell was so central to my college life. The whole Rainbow/Sabbath/Dio trio still has a fond place on my music list.... was digging it just this afternoon working on the car. RIP Ronnie, you were unique.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kevin

    we'll miss you dio ...

    May 16, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. GKee

    Dio will never die.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mike

    Damn, CNN, how could you miss Dehumanizer?
    What deliciously dark words
    One more crucifixion
    One more cross to bear
    You’re a hole in a photograph
    Join in the congregation
    Everybody’s got to get in line
    We never justify
    The choir sings a never-ending lie!

    May 16, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Malvain

    So very sadI had the pleasure of meeting him some years ago when he was on his solo tour. i have always told people that the meeting with him was increadable...I had never met a nicer more down to earth person. Rest in peace

    May 16, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. George Pitt

    Very sad news. Have loved Dio since his days with 'Rainbow'. The man was a natural entertainer with unmatched passion and vocal power. What a legend! Was lucky to have seen him live a few times back in the day. I'm 49 and still love his music and always will. R.I.P. Ronnie, and may his family find peace and comfort in knowing how much he was loved by so many around the world.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gypsy!

    R.I.P. Dio!!!!

    Keep rocking in Heaven! Music never dies!

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

    ronnie, thank you for giving us metal heads the gift of the most recognizable hand gesture (next to the middle finger) in the world. sing some tunes while dimebag darrell plays lead up in heaven. RIP brother...

    May 16, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. p

    .....Like a rainbow in the dark!

    May 16, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. DJ

    Rest In Peace....NEON KNIGHTS and MOB RULES on full blast tonight!

    May 16, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Reid

    RIP Ronnie \m/... To Me Ronnine James Dio showed me the world of Rock n Roll and Heavy Metal and gave me a positive outlook on life. BlackSabbath was but a very small part of the music DIO created and Ronnine is truelly a METAL GOD \m/

    RIP my friend

    May 16, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lisa James Alucard

    The most prolific voice in rock has been silenced. Long live the legacy Of Ronnie James Dio...

    May 16, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Chris

    This is a sad day. Horns up For Ronnie \m/ \m/

    May 16, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JohnnyDio

    This guy was a rock GOD and you people can not even write a decent article for him. How do people with such poor sentence structure and who repeat themselves in order to double the size of their article even get on this site. CNN you should be ashamed of yourself. I have dealt with your horrible editing skills for years. But screwing up a 20 sentence article of a rock icons death is by far your most pathetic attempt at news reporting.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Brian


    May 16, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
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