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. Thoth2012

    Heaven and Hell was the most awsome album of all time IMO. Sabbath was at its best with DIO. Truly unique and un-duplicated voicalist. Sad that I did not get to see him live. Keep on rocking in the afterworld Ronnie! Some hauntings at the next Sabbath concert would be cool though.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dio devil

    Serious doubt about his RIP right now. That's the really sad part.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. larry

    There's a rainbow in the dark over that man on the silver mountain now....

    May 16, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tim

    Not a rotten word can be said. A true clasic and great guy.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lisa

    So sad to hear this. We've lost a great voice and a really nice, funny guy. Glad I got to see him perform a few years back. RIP, Ronnie, you will be missed, and my thoughts and prayers are with your famly.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Fujiko

    Keep rockin' of the BEST voices ever....why can't losers like Springstien croak.....

    May 16, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dipschitt

    If it's any consolation, the Flyers are up 4-0.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Weeden Cornwell

    R.I.P. DIO

    May 16, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dan

    I love you RJD. You are such a class act. My prayers will include the Dio family.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bert

    Too bad ... this guy didn't do anything but promote Godless music.. I'm sure where he's going he'll be needing lots of ice water.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bob

    Wow, all these post and not one single thing bad said about him. He must have been a very well liked man, Rock on Rock lives.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chris

    One of the great vocalists of our time, regardless of genre, tragically unappreciated by those outside of his musical niche. Very sorry to hear of his passing.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. will

    Ronnie, my greatest regret for you is that i have much doubt that you knew Jesus. If you had, You;d have not promoted the satanic hand gesture. Eternity is a long long time, and you likely will spend it apart from the greatest love in the universe. I am soo sad for you.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rise'

    I fell in love with Dio's voice in 1979 when he was with Sabbath. Proud to say I took my son Jim to see Dio (my son's first concert) when my son was only 12 years old. That concert not only made my son a fan, but made him a metal lover and has led him to become a great musician. I owe so much to this man and his music. Not only got me through some hard times, but was a positive influence that will be with me forever. My heart goes out to Wendy and to all the people who loved this man as I did. Long live the King of Metal!

    May 16, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bert

    I agree will.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
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