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. 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 be playing anyone else for a very long time – I assure you.

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

    RIP Dio. You will be so dearly missed.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dan in Colo

    The most surprising element of this story is that I did not even know RJD was still alive.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MIke

    Without doubt, one of the greatest metal singers ever.I first saw Ronnie in 82, followed up in 84, 86, 88, etc. What a powerful performance he always put on. He will be missed.
    Very best to the family

    May 16, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Steve

    Rocks littlest man with the biggest voice, rock on!

    May 16, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Neal

    Another reunion that freakin' Ritchie Blackmore waited too long for. 😦 Rainbow should have reunited in Ronnie's last years. He wanted it. Don't wait for Ian to die Ritchie. Bury the hatchet and make great music !!! RIP RJD.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. smmaddog

    The Man On The Silver Mountain has left us. Between his solo work and his work with Rainbow, Sabbath and Heaven & Hell I can't even begin to count the number of hours I spent listening to him over the years or estimate how much of an inspiration the man was to me.

    Rest in Peace, Ronnie James Dio

    And once more: LONG LIVE ROCK AND ROLL!!!!!!

    May 16, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ben Brown Jr.

    I met Ronnie and his wife/manager Wendy in 1984 while an intern at KMET radio in Los Angeles. Of all of the famous people who came through those doors, Dio was easily the most gracious, most humble and most considerate to his fans. A true legend, a great guy. May you and your family find peace.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jezmundberserker

    Thanks for all the music, Ronnie. You will be missed by every metal fan around the world.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. London

    Ride out.....protectors of the realm. Sail across the sea of Light.

    Condolences to his wife Wendy and surviving family

    \m/

    May 16, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dave Butwell

    GREAT MUSICIAN, ONE OF A KIND VOICE. RIP

    May 16, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. R Greenwalt

    I am shocked and stunned, Dio's music started my interest into heavy metal back in the mid 80's. RIP Holy Diver!

    May 16, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Chriftor

    It's too bad the "article" is such a hack job, repeating itself, and offering glaring errors. I am sure there will be many finer tributes in worthy journals. RIP RJD.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. P FLEY

    rock on Ronnie.we love you!

    May 16, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jewell

    Rainbows and blue skies ... are black and white.

    R.I.P. Dio

    You touched so many lives and will never be forgotten.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
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