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. Sharlene Gonzales

    My heart goes out to his family. He was a great man and a great performer. He will be missed.

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


    May 16, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kevin Rismiller

    @Leanne P.

    Get off you religious high horse you dumb B¡T¢H. Go share your fairy tales elsewhere…

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

    My mom wouldn't let me go see a benefit Todd Rundgren and Ian Hunter were doing because she thought there'd be pot smoking, but when I mentioned Black Sabbath she said "Sabbath? That sounds nice." So the first concert my Catholic mom allowed had Ronnie James Dio prancing around doing one-handed and two-handed "devil's horns" ! Plus, a huge, dense green cloud hung over the Capitol Centre crowd all night... my thrift store army jacket smelled of pot for weeks, no matter how many times my mom washed it. I had never (yet) smoked the stuff... it sure took a lot of explaining!

    (Alvin Lee, with Mick Taylor, was incendiary opening up. Tough guitar act to follow, but Tony Iommi was fantastic!)

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

    Dio the greatest voice in heavy metal.The Man on The Siver Mountain.. R.I.P. I"m so sad.... all time best album.Rainbow live on stage along with Richie blackmore the guitar God

    May 16, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jimmy - New York

    So sad about the news. Had the pleasure of seeing him in concert with Sabbath back in 1982 then a few time throughout the 80's with Dio. Then, I luckily saw him in Heaven and Hell the summer of 2008. What a great voice, showman and nice guy. You will be missed but your music will live on forever. RIP and God Bless.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Marcos

    Infelizmente morreu o maior vocalista de heavy metal de todos os tempos. Descanse em paz, grande Dio!

    May 16, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tania

    Did an editor read this?????? Honestly, whomever wrote this should be ashamed.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rod

    Halford, Dickenson, Ozzy – none could hold a candle to the greatest metal singer of all time. Who else could sing the words "dark", "fire", "night", for example, and scare the crap out of you like Mr. Ronnie James Dio. Never lost his voice. Never. My CD player won't anyone else for a very long time – I assure you.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Brooklyn Rocker

    Ronnie James Dio rocked! We Rock! He was the Man on a Silver Mountain. A Rainbow in the Dark. A Neon Knight. So live for today, tomorrow never comes...Die Young! R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sean hunter


    May 16, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dio Fan

    I saw Dio in 1985. Great show. IMO he has the best voice in Heavy Metal (and maybe all of rock). GREAT performer. Really knew how to entertain an audience.

    He will be missed, but not forgotten.

    YOU Rock.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dave C.

    Wow. RJD will be sorely missed. Keep on rockin' bro!

    May 16, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. glarn skeebleman

    For those about to rock, we salute you. And we salute you, too, Ronnie James Dio. Thank you for the music you gave us.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Angelo

    I grew up listening to Dio, Rainbow, and Black Sabbath thanks to my older brothers. Feels like part of my childhood has gone away. RIP.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
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