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. Bert

    Jerry .. I disagree.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DJD

    wow...... I have some great memories attached to many of his songs..... just sitting here going down memory lane... nothing else to say....

    May 16, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bert

    Glam 88 ..

    How can you disrespect the dead? They're dead. Moron.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. tribtech

    Since the days of Elf, when Ronnie's voice first hit me, I have followed his every venture!! It is indeed a very, very sad day to hear that such a great man has fallen!!!!! I offer my sincere condolences to Ronnie's family and friends...

    May 16, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Karin

    I always turn Dio/Rainbow up to revel in the thrill of Ronnie's voice. RIP, and thanks for the music. My condolences to the family and friends.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Howler

    I really didn’t appreciate heavy metal until I heard Dio sing. He changed it all and set a bar that no other metal singer ever came close to. I will greatly miss the anticipation of another concert; the enjoyment of another album; and the sheer joy of his music.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bert

    Satan .. ha ha

    Bible thumper? Who invited a bible thumper? Play whatever crap music you want outside of a church... who cares? Somebody with a Jesus fish probably will shoot you because you're ignorant.

    His music will die ... with him. Dead. Before and After.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JR

    Used to go see Ronnie and 'the Elves' religiously whenever they came down from Cortland NY way back in very early 70's. Absolutely the best band around with one of the greatest voices in rock history. Very sad for his family, friends, and rock fans around the world.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rich


    May 16, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. will

    Todd T

    Not judging, but if you belong to Jesus, you do not promote satanic symbology. Show me where Jesus promoted such in the Bible, and I will shut up. You can't. It's people like you that know a few verses, and ALWAYS use it out of context that amuse me. If you really knew the Bible, what I said is absolutely allowed by the saints. I'm not afraid to be judged by the exact about you?

    May 16, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bert

    Howler ..

    Set a bar? He spent most of his time in a bar...

    May 16, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. David

    Outstanding vocalist. I saw Dio in '84 and '86 and he will be greatly missed. Listen to "The Mob Rules" from Live Evil. Arguably one of the most incendiary live performances by Sabbath.

    Thoughts and prayers to Wendy and the entire Dio family.

    Tallahassee, Florida

    May 16, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bert

    Rich ..

    Metal God? Is that the same as a false god? or idolotry? Dead people also dont' make music ... they're dead.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Satan

    I'm Satan, puny, mortal weapons cannot harm me. Now make sure you go buttf*** Ernie before going to sleep, Bert.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Arjay Bautista

    While I'm just a noob with regard to enjoying Dio's musical heritage, I really am pained to hear this news. I was still hoping, until I read this news, to see him live sometime in the future, perhaps performing live. How I wished I was born in the 70's.

    Condolences to Dio's family, former and present band members, and to us his fans. You will always be remembered. You will always be remembered.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
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