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. Larry

    Only in Heaven can we hear a concert like no other, fronted by countlees lead singers, guitar playersm, drummers, etc. Let Ronnie James Dio take the mike and sing his best songs for all the Angels to hear. Long Live R.J.D. We are at a loss for his passing.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |


    May 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sylvia Lopez

    How sad. Rest in peace Mr. Dio. You will be missed.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Uncle Fred

    I was at work the other day when Holy Diver came on the radio, one of my younger employees stopped work and turned the radio up and said "Wow, who's that, what a fantastic voice"
    "That was Ronnie James Dio" I said," proably the best rock vocalist ever".

    Ronnie will be gone, but his music still lives on.

    I will miss him.

    Uncle Fred


    May 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. rgvg

    Nice to see all these posts and not a jerk in the bunch–May God bless him and his family

    May 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tjc360

    Front Row-Caught in the Rush-New Haven Coliseum-1989-Great memories of my youth RJD... thanks!

    May 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. KK

    I had the honor of meeting Ronnie several times. He was the most gracious man every time. A brilliant vocalist. May he rest in peace.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bluesrocker


    A part of Heavy Metal died today. He was the best metal singer ever. LONG LIVE RONNIE!!!

    May 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Real Metalhead

    Poor Ronnie James.

    I'm sure that he has now assumed his place at Satan's right hand in Hell. Metal forever!

    May 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • And

      Yes, straight to hell, he should have thought about what he was singing...the Devil right hand man, you fool, think about what you are saying, or else you may end up the same...

      May 17, 2010 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • deedee

      Hello to the radical christians pointing the damning fingers, i bet God finds u very annoying, u may want to get familiar with some of RJD's songs, u may get to see a show in Heaven one day!! RIP RJD! and may your dear family find peace!

      May 17, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jack

    The voice to be reckoned with. We lost a true man and straight shooter. My heart goes out to the many fans and believers. Sympathizes to the family,

    May 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John Smyth

    Class act guy.

    Was a great singer.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Phillip

    When you listen to fools the Mob Rules

    May 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Andy Perez

    Dio has paased the edge of the world. His influence, music, and amazing voice will live forever in our hearts, I raise a class to you sir in complete respect Thanks for teaching us how to dream! Long live Ronnie James Dio! Hail Dio!!!!

    May 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ayesha

    The metal world has lost an icon ... His memory lives on in his considerable body of work ...
    Condolences and regards to his family and friends.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SeeDub

    Came of age in Cortland, NY when Ronnie was with The Electric Elves, later Elf. Great human being...has a street named after him.

    RIP, Ronnie. You will be missed.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
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