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. Kenny

    I am just too shocked! I grew up with guys such as Ronnie James Dio and the rests of the the Heavy Metal scene. This tells you how time flies as you get older.

    It is bad enough that Metal has died for more than a decade ago and nothing is worst than having a metal-God died over again.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mindy Lynn

    I LOVE Ronnie James Dio! So sorry to hear he's gone. He is TRULY a legend & will forever live in our hearts. RIP sweet Ronnie James. You definitely left a legacy.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Muse

    my thoughts are with his family..

    May 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mark

    Ronnie truly was a "Rainbow in the Dark"". He will sadly be missed. I'm going home and cranking him up!!!!!!!!

    May 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jonas

    R.I.P. ROCK IN PEACE

    May 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hugo

    LONG LIVE ROCK N' ROLL and LONG LIVE RONNIE JAMES DIO.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Apostrophe T

    @ rgvg: Surprised and nice to see as well. Dio Commands.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ken k

    He had the best voice in metal. Gonna miss him a lot. The rainbow has gone dark.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Annette

    Hard to believe this powerhouse of a voice could come out of someone as small in stature as Dio – what an awesome entertainer – kept many of us rocking for decades – rest in peace. You'll be missed but your music will rock on.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Eileen

    So sorry for your loss

    May 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Victor

    Absolutely tragic. The man's music was groundbreaking. He will be missed for decades to come.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sad Sad Day.

    Soundtrack of our lives.... so many memories... RIP
    you turn to stone....WE ROCK!

    May 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. STD

    I use to watch Dio play at our local high school back in the late 60's in Cortland NY. He was great then and went on to greatness. Miss you Ronnie.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ian walton

    R.I.P Ronnie James DIO You will be greatly missed but your music will live on and on...

    May 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mike

    The whole world lost a wonderful and talented artist who loved his fans and truly made great music. Im very saddend, Ronnie you will be missed greatly! R.I.P.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
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