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. Metal Head

    I have never seen so many positive comments about anything on CNN. That alone speaks volumes. RIP Ronnie. One of the best Rock vocalists of all time. CNN get a clue and create an article worthy of the man.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BigRigDriver229

    R.I.P Ronnie, your songs and voice will still live on in the hearts of all Sabbath fans...you finished where Ozzy left off with Sabbath. your both WORLD CLASS ACTS....I'm 46, and more into Country now but sill listen to the older metal to this day....may god bless your family and help them get through these trying time....

    May 16, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. P993C4

    This is a sad day for metal.

    For those who understand music, the quality of Ronnie James Dio's work speaks for itself.

    He also seemed to be a genuinely decent, thoughtful and intelligent human being – which is a rare thing indeed.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ssp

    I guess he has finally become the Man on the Silver Mountain! We will miss you! RIP Ronnie James-your music will live on forever.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ssp

    So happy to have seen him quite a few times and met him once at a signing.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rodrigo Lestrade Pedroso

    It´s the worst lost since Freddy Mercury for rock n´roll history.

    Rest in Peace.

    Hail from Brazil!

    May 16, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dave allen

    the world and me have lost a great artist will miss you a lot rest in peace my friend

    May 16, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. justin

    another legend gone
    via con dios my friend

    May 16, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. travis

    How is this not higher up on the rankings of CNN headlines?

    May 16, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jjcguitar

    A sad, sad day for music.
    I was never a real metal fan, but that VOICE. A true talent in the metal genre.
    From what I've read in the other postings, he was also a real gentleman when it came to the fans.
    My sincerest condolences to his family.
    May he Rest in Peace

    May 16, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. C WILLI

    Sad, sad news. One of the premiere rock vocalists of all time. I was fortunate to meet Ronnie in a bar after one of his shows was cancelled in Akron. Truly one of the nicest people one could meet. My thoughts go out to his family and friends and band members. Love and magic,

    May 16, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tracy

    My deepest sympathy to the Dio family. He will be greatly missed by his family and the music industry. RIP Ronnie....you were a remarkable singer.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ken

    a great loss . loved the voice

    May 16, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. kellie

    The world of rock will not be the same without RJD. RIP and fly with the angels.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. David Gohre

    i..i -_- i..i

    May 16, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
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