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. mikrek

    he will be dearly missed my thoughts and messages go out to his family Ronnie you will be missed

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

    This will sting for a long time.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ron H.

    Seen Mr Dio on the "Black And Blue" tour when I was in highschool and unfortunately it was the only time I ever saw him in concert. I have aways said that in my opinion he was and still is the best Heavy Metal / Hard Rock singer that I have ever heard , I was shocked to hear he passed on and my condolences go out to his wife and family. Also it is really good to see that the vast majority of the post here are positive , always a few jerks that manage to get in on news like this.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Allen Campbell

    This truly sucks. Ronnie had one of the most original voices in heavy metal. He will be truly missed. May you find your rainbow in the dark Ronnie.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris V-man Fryer

    Ronnie was one of the best ever. He had such a big heart and big voice for a little guy. Holy Diver, Last in Line, Rising, Long Live R&R, Heaven & Hell, Mob Rules, all frickin classics!!!!!! Thanks for all of the great music Ronnie. You will be missed dearly. God bless and rest in peace RJD.

    The king is dead, long live the king!

    May 16, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. madfan

    Horrible editing. Garbage for a metal god

    May 16, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Grip Ace

    The last without a tear, the hope without the fear. Ronnie is coming home. Rock'em in the new world. RIP

    May 16, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Eric Collazo

    The music world is diminished by his passing.
    My thoughts go out to his family and friends. He will be missed.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mr.Cranky

    When I heard about this from a friend, I thought he was joking. Bummer. I liked Dio's music.
    \m/ \m/

    May 16, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Henk (The Netherlands)

    Rest in Peace Ronnie. you will be missed. 😦

    May 16, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Shaye Breed

    As big a loss as this is for the metal community and the music world in general, I can only imagine how hard it must be to lose your husband. My condolences to Wendy.

    And btw, CNN, Heaven & Hell essentially WAS Black Sabbath.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. alex

    Way to show professionalism in your articles, CNN. This one has about 4 duplicate paragraphs which is ironic because CNN's main headline earlier today was about the importance of spell checking and proper grammar....

    May 16, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. brad1001

    CNN does your interns know how copy / paste works?

    May 16, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Christopher Alan Fields

    His Dio albums were great, I still have not heard most of his Black Sabbath songs, but I plan on buying his Black Sabbath albums.

    May 16, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tee

    R.I.P Ronnie

    May 16, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
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