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. JMS

    "The lover of lifes not a sinner
    The ending is just a beginner"

    Rest in peace Ronnie

    May 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MiMo

    Because of Dio, I got into metal. So glad I got to see him on the Heaven and Hell tour. Truly a sad day for my self personally. Hopefully he still does gigs when I cross to the other side!

    RIP Dio

    May 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. steve danbury

    TODAY WE HAVE LOST ONE OF THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME. WHAT A SAD LOSS FOR HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS, AND METALHEADS AROUND THE WORLD. ROCK ON RONNIE JAMES....... ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! R.I.P.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mike and Terry

    Ronnie set the bar for all musicians. He will always be one of my top idols. Our condolences go out to his wife Wendy, his family, and his loyal fans.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. E38Wolf

    A sad day indeed, he was a legend. I owe all of my passion for music to he and his first album with Dio, Holy Diver. RIP my friend.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. velma colunga

    ronnie james was the showmen of all showmen, met him a couple of years back and he was a great human being, he will be missed but his music will live on, now you will forever be the man on the silver mountain, we will miss you!!

    May 16, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MARCO AURELIO ECHART MONTANO

    Uma grande perda para a musica e para o heavy metal, Rest in peace Dio.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. alex

    legends live forever but dio he was not a legend but a god.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kraas

    The next plane of existence is about to rock a hell of a lot harder -_- \nn/

    May 16, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Andrew D

    his light will shine on... like a rainbow in the dark

    May 16, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jedster

    He was...A rock god...

    Nuff said. he will be missed

    Rest in Peace

    May 16, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chris

    RIP Ronnie James Dio. You were a legend of metal.

    HORNS ALL AROUND!!

    \m/

    May 16, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Chuck Staples

    A unique talent has been silenced today. RJD was a transformative influence in heavy metal, and the body of his work speaks eloquent volumes. Thank you, Ronnie, for sharing your gift with us.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sherri russell

    this is a major tragedy and very tragicand sad in the metal music industry. rock n roll forever and in peace u are well loved and missed by all us fans family friends and your wife and children.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mark Jezisek

    Rock on Brother

    May 16, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
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