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. SVK

    I am saddened to hear of Ronnie's passing. He was a gracious gentleman with a very distinctive voice that will always be associated with Heavy Metal.

    May 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    That voice! "Stargazer" and "Gates of Babylon" still blow my mind. If there are more moving, powerful vocal performances in rock songs, I haven't heard it. RIP RJD.

    May 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. zen_drummer

    RIP Ronnie......He was one of the most authentic,professional vocalist on the rock scene. A classy guy,and a genuine nice person. ...Can someone clear up one fact tho....Wasn't Ronnie born in Cortland NY.....not New Hampshire? There is a small road in Cortland NY named Dio Way........curious as to what the facts are...thanx for any info

    May 16, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mark Bell

    Ronnie James Dio – best singer ever!
    My condolances to the family.

    May 16, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jer Bear

    Loved his vocals and improv he did on "Seeds of Change" with Kerry Livgren as well. He was no satanist but for a short man he raised a lot of hell. God have mercy on you Ronnie and RIP.

    May 16, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike Rowave

    Dio was a phenomenal peot and vocalist.
    I remember going to Metal shows in the 80's, everyone was wearing a T-shirt for whatever band was playing that night. But, at a DIO show the T-shirts represented every band in the spectrum of Metal because His music attracted every Head Banger in Town!!!

    May 16, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DG

    You forgot Ronnie James Dio sang on Black Sabbath's Dehumanizer. We lost another great one.

    And to the people that want to make his passing anything about your deity of choice, get lost. Spout your crap elsewhere.

    May 16, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Stan B

    Dio was my first metal show. He played with Accept at Madison Square Garden on June 20th 1986. I found my stub. The metal world lost a metal god. Thank you for all the great music.

    May 16, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Indignant23

    "There's perfect harmony
    In the rising and the falling of the sea

    And as we sail along...
    I never fail to be astounded by
    The things we'll do for promises
    And a song....

    RIP Ronnie. Thank you for all the music and the history of metal you helped to write. You were one of the originals – a little man with a huge voice – and you will always be remembered for that.

    May 16, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rick

    Rip Ronnie James, truly one of the most iconic metal voices and personalities, thank you for sharing your vocal gift with us and providing so many amazing performances. \m/ forever!

    May 16, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mh

    Such sad news. Terribly sorry for Ronnie's family... RIP Ronnie. \m/ \m/

    May 16, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Richard A Benedict

    To Ronnie,

    May the road rise to meet you, and may the wind be at your back. It's time to Rest In Peace. You will be missed.

    "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

    -Matthew 5:4 (NASB)

    May 16, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sam

    The fact that even an event like this brings people to debate religion saddens me... Dio was a great human being who, instead of preaching, captured the lives of many with an amazing talent. He did not need a book to guide him... only the weak dwell on religion... those who seek comfort and hope. He brought his own ideas to the world rather than spitting religion, which has brought much more evil to this world than metal could ever wish to achieve...you will be missed.

    May 16, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. zunedog

    party on garth................

    May 16, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Thomas H.

    Ronnie James Dio was the wizard of hard rock. The power and intensity of his voice was unmatched. I can't believe it's been silenced.

    May 16, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
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