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


    What hurts? Did you try that finger trick Joel tried? I'm pretty sure Ronnie ain't going to rest in your love now ... that's gross!

    May 17, 2010 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ernie


    It's not nice to mention die hard on a board like this. Have some respect for the deceased. Sheesh.

    May 17, 2010 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. uncle thirsty

    this is a very sad day may GOD bless his family and friends he left behind, you will be truly missed and will always be remembered as one of the best singer/song writers of our generation..FAN FOREVER..AMEN..

    May 17, 2010 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Pavel "obormot" Studenkov

    Dio's voice on "Rainbow Rising" introduced me to metal music 23 years ago – and I have been a fan ever since. This is the end of an era. Here's to the great man! Rest in Peace, Ronnie James!

    May 17, 2010 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bert

    uncle thirsty,

    that was truly lame. to finish your statement with AMEN. you're silly.

    May 17, 2010 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tomas


    Your comments clearly show the kind of childish mind you have, it's not very difficult to see that.
    I speak for everyone in here who loves RJD and actually knows that he will rock forever, whether alive or dead

    May 17, 2010 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bert

    Pavel .

    You said you've been a "fan" ever since. What kind of fan? A ceiling fan?

    May 17, 2010 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joel A. Lopez

    All you real Dio fans who are saddened tonight. Pull those 2 fingers down, put up the 1 finger and salute morons like
    Bert, Ernie and Big Bird.

    May 17, 2010 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. Evangelicide

    This is truly sad. But now we need to prepare ourselves for what's ahead–who wants to be the one to inform Jack Black?

    May 17, 2010 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  10. Bert

    Tomas ... Did you ask everyone before you spoke for them? How does someone rock after death?

    May 17, 2010 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. Bert


    How long did it take you to come up with that one? You can do better than that..

    May 17, 2010 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. Joel A. Lopez

    Wendy Dio our prayers are with you and your family.
    Ronnie we Dio fans will always cherish the music you left behind.

    May 17, 2010 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ernie

    I agree Bert.

    Joel, I'm saluting your mom right now.

    May 17, 2010 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. joey zasa

    ronnie james mother fukin dio for life

    May 17, 2010 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  15. Gueorgui Lazarov

    I met Ronnie in 1984 and from all the rock musicians I've met in my life he was the only one to reveal himself first as a person and then as a rock musician, but never as a rock star. Always followed his work and admired his sincerity. I'll always miss you and never forget you Ronnie. Once somebody said in a song that if there's a rock and roll heaven there must be one hell of a rock and roll band... and now they have one hell of a rock and roll singer.

    May 17, 2010 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
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