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. Bruce Swisher

    The olds ones speak of winter
    the youngs ones praise the sun
    and time just slips away

    RIP DIO you will be missed'

    May 16, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tom Tegeler

    Very shocked by this news. I loved Mr. Dio's music and now feel all the more fortunate to have seen several of his live shows both here in the U.S. and in Tokyo.
    My opinion for a long time has been that Heaven and Hell is the best heavy metal album ever made. It's a masterpiece!
    Thanks for the great music Mr. Ronnie James Dio, I pray your suffering was not too great. You lived a thousand lives compared to most of us. May God guide your soul to eternal paradise.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Becca

    You will be greatly missed ! Thank you Ronnie for all the Years of GREAT MUSIC !!!!

    May 16, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lance

    Good bye my friend.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. steve and annie

    may you rest in peace.you made thousands of people happy.my hubby loved his music so very much and i.so your rock'n with the best.r.i.p.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hank

    As he said with the Redcaps: An Angel Is Now Missing...
    RIP

    May 16, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ladyinblue

    tears in my 'rainbow eyes'.....

    May 16, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. pete k

    i had the pleasure of meeting ronnie in the parking lot of the phila. spectrum,after a concert on the last in line tour. such a graceful man and the best metal singer. rest in peace,and thank you for all the great music. i guess you were hungry for heaven.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    Like a Rainbow in the dark

    I dont think there will ever ever be another metal album to match heaven and hell. Amazing voice, you will be missed

    May 16, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mitch

    GOD Bless Your Family and GOD Bless Your Soul. Thank you for all of the classic music you have given to us. Rest in peace Ronnie James Dio.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Aaron Bruehl

    Man part of me just died inside after hearing this. Ronnie is a legend in Metal and will be sorely missed. Best wishes to Wendy and the family.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dave in Arizona

    He was truly a telented musician. I was fortunate enough to see him live in concert twice. My favorite album are Rainbow "Live on Stage" and Black Sabbath "Heaven and Hell"...."the world is full of kings and queens who blind your eyes and steal your dreams. It's Heaven and Hell". Rest in Peace Ronnie James Dio...Thank You for the wonderful legacy of music....

    May 16, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. frogman

    very sad he will be missed but thank god we were blessed with his music

    May 16, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. astonished

    Why can't CNN even bother to proof the copy before publishing?

    Repeat sentences, bad copy.....

    Journalism is truly dead.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Todd

    I was lucky enough to meet Ronnie J. three times. He was not only the nicest rock star I've ever met, but the nicest HUMAN BEING I've ever met. God bless, and RIP. Love you RJD.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
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