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. Todd T.

    No, Bert, judging by the fact that YOU are the minority here, it's not RJD's music that sux, but your taste. besides, why why would anyone here lend the smallest ammount of credence to someone who so badly lacks a life that they would pass time leaving negative comments about an artist on the day they died? really, Bert, you must be a very sad & lonely person. You are pathetic, Bert. Go play in the street.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bert

    Satan ..

    You're an idiot. You and Ernie can continue your own fun .... moron.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bert

    Todd T ..

    How do you know I'm a racial minority? Besides, you're the moron responding to me..

    May 16, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Satan

    Oh, I'm sorry, did I offend you? That's right, you were always the receiver in that relationship. Make sure you lube up for Ernie tonight, a**hole.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Michael Simmons

    We have lost a true giant. I have loved Dio for most of my life....he will be truly missed..

    May 16, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. rob weaver

    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio GOD BLESS YOU and your family

    May 16, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Todd T.

    I never said racial, idiot. your response speaks volumes about your intelligence (or lack thereof).

    May 16, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bert

    Satan ..

    Believe me, I don't get offended.. You're just an idiot ... thinking you're Satan ... ha ha ha. Why don't you get a better taste for real music and not the crap this dude played ...

    May 16, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. GB

    Wendy,

    Our best wishes out to you during this difficult time. Know your man is at peace. He rocked us all, and was the BEST at it. I remember blasting "Holy Diver" on my boombox (the kind that sucked down 10 D-size batteries at a time) during my high school years. His music and AMAZING voice gave me strength during a difficult time of my life. I met him in Sacramento during the Sacred Heart tour in 1985. What a kind, genuine, and absolute gentleman. He was the best, and will be greatly missed. Rock on in heaven Ronnie...you are the King of Rock and Roll...!!!

    And to all you haters: Download 'Rainbow in the Dark' or "The Last in Line" and see what rock music SHOULD sound like...

    May 16, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Terry

    Dio now rest with the gods of music... we'll miss him a lot but he'll forever live through his songs, his deeds and his history... may rock bless you
    RIP

    May 16, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bert

    Todd T ..

    Are you lonely tonight? You keep responding to me so you must be as lonely as me.. ha ha ha... Intelligence is defined many ways dipstick..

    May 16, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. david in manalapan

    Rest in peace you legend among legends.
    he was always top of his gamer

    May 16, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DJD

    Bert he didn't say you were the "racial" minority, just the minority in general, as in minor, less than the group as a whole.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ken Beaulieu

    Wow! 400 comments and still counting. Nary a negative one either. RJD rocked Central New York for years before Rainbow and Sabbath fame. Grew up following his band Elf all over CNY. Knew then he was destined for big things.

    May 16, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Craig

      RIP scribe and oracle of the realms that are and yet never seen. Now that your "8 miles high about to fall" you know there is someone to catch you. As you ride out with your Children of the sea, you shall live forever more.

      I hope that all the young ones remember that when they hold the hand of rock and roll high into the air...It was Dio (traced back by MTV) that started that. Like in all that he did, he was the first and will rock forever more.

      I was pleased to see him from Elf-Rainbow-Sabbath-Dio over 40 times, and had met you 4 times. Funniest was Mob Rules tour in Pittsburgh when you broke your heal and I realized how small a man you were...with a voice that shocked the gods.

      Seeing you will be missed, but hearing you never!!!!!

      May 16, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gile

      Hell ya!

      May 16, 2010 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Terry C

    RONNIE your music was a huge part of my growing up as a youth and beyond. May you finally cross that Rainbow thru the Dark and into ever lasting peace. I will Stand Up and Shout in your memory, for you will be truly missed

    May 16, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Holly Diver

      Beautifully said. You made me cry.
      My Idol is gone. He will definitely will be missed. He was just amazing! My ❤ is bleeding.

      May 16, 2010 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
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