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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  1. Mike

    Someone said he is no longer suffering. If he lived for and sand about dark evil stuff, was against Christ and Gods can you say that. You dont just fall asleep. You go one of 2 places. Very sad but true

    May 16, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BTF

    Goodbye The man on the silver mountain.

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


    May 16, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sandra

    RIP.....your voice has been silenced, but your music will live on forever! Thank you for so many great memories....

    May 16, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Deckie B

    The word LEGEND gets thrown about when anyone dies but Ronnie was the real deal. he will be sadly missed but will also live forever! As long as we are showing the Devil horns you gave to us, you will never be forgotten. \m/

    May 16, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bert

    Rise ... you may want to find a better role model.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Glam88

    Metalheads are a special breed of caring humans, contrary to popular opinion. We have lost one of our own. A true pioneer of metal is gone. May RJ's family find comfort knowing we share their grief. Godspeed, Ronnie.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nik

    Thank you for the music, Ronnie!
    The body dies, the music lives, the songs remain!

    May 16, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bert

    Godspeed? ... Should be devilspeed for that nutjob ...

    May 16, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sixx

    Dio was so influential to me as a young guitar player in the early 80's. All the singers in the Metal bands around my town (Pgh.) aspired to have a voice like Ronnie's. He always cut through the mix with powerful lyrics and expert showmanship. We all did Dio cover songs back then and the devils horn, that was all Ronnie's. He will be missed but his music and legend will live on. GBNF he is now, truly, the man on the silver mountain.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bert

    Sixx ... you're a bit melodramatic..

    May 16, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Federico

    He left us but he is a leyend and the leyends lives for ever reast in peace compadre see you soon

    May 16, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RJ

    Dio flat out created the symbol of Rock as we know it, By holding out his hand with the thumb pressing down the third and forth finger. Italians call this the Molokai its the symbol used to ward off the evil eye. It was something he copied from his grandmother. Of course those conspiracy theory fools claimed it was a sign of Rock being evil when in fact it was just the opposite.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Glam88

    Bert, you are a true A**hole. A man has passed and his family may be reading these posts. Have some respect, if you have the mental capacity to do so.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Avenel Bill

    Many great days with friends spent listening to him and his music, Rip!

    May 16, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
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