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. surfin gal

    RIP. we'll miss u.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. Anand

    Very sad that we do not have Ronnie Dio. An excellent singer. I could listen to 'Heaven and Hell' with rapt admiration all the time. May his soul find peace.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. Freud

    CNN – This is a shockingly inaccurate and poorly constructed piece. Show some respect and hire someone who can write and bothers to do their research. Pathetic and disrespectful.
    RIP RJD.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. michelle stalter

    Wow,gone..but NOT forever.......

    May 17, 2010 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Bert

      Uh ... yeah he is.

      May 17, 2010 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jay Nunez

    I remember Ronnie James when he started the band "ELF". He played in all the bars in Rochester New York in the late 60's and I have followed him ever since. ROCK ON IN THE HEAVENS MY BROTHER !!!!! I will miss going to your concerts......

    May 17, 2010 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  6. Abhijeet

    May his soul rest in Peace in the Temple of the King....

    May 17, 2010 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
  7. zafer

    it is a sad day...the world has just lost its rock legend...RIP DIO!!!

    May 17, 2010 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. George

    Hey Bert...You're wrong...Dio's music will be around far longer than you or I...and seeing how upset you get when someone calls you a 15 year old gay fat kid...as incredibly brilliant as we all know you are, I'm sure that you realize AT LEAST 1 or 2 people here can and probably have tracked your IP address...sleep well lol

    May 17, 2010 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. Adrian

    Back in 2000 when I was still in the Army, I was flying back to Germany. I had been in Los Angeles on leave. I remember sitting at the LAX bar havinga drink and I saw Dio sitting at a table with someone else, I thought about walking up and asking for an autographe, but I did not want to bother him. When my flight was anounced, I stood up and looked over at Dio, our eyes met and I gave him a smile and the "horns". He smiled back and gave me the horns as well.
    When I landed in London for a 3 hour lay over, im going through customer and I look behind me and who should I see? The Elf himself! We had been on the same flight! So I turned around and held out my hand and said, "Dude, even though Im only29 years old, I love your music man, everything you did with BS, Rainbow, Dio and Elf as well, and I just want to thank you" Dio looked at me sort of funny and said, "No, thank you, and arnt you a bit young to even know about Elf?" I said,t here is no age when it comes to good music. He asked me what I was doig in Europe and I explained I was headed back to my duty station after being on leave. He invited me for a drink. I was just blown away! All I coudl think about was, Im sitting here having a beer with RJD!!! He told me he was headed to meet up with Deep Purple, and would be touring with them for a while. I told him where in Germany I was stationed. Dio then said, they would doing a concert at the city I wa stationed at and he took all my info and told me there would be tickets and backstage passes waiting for me at will call. I thanked him and he told me there was no need, that because I was serving out country, it was the very least he could do. He wa so classy, and nice. And all though he is a Rock God as far as I was concerned, he was so down to earth and approuchable. After a couple of hours of beers and talking, he had to go catch his flight so I walked him to his gate. When we got there, he gave me a great big hug. I thanked him again for all his music and wished him all the best.
    A couple of months later, the day of the show was here! I went to the ticket cuonter during my lunch, thinking for sure Dio had probably forgotten, since he probably meets so many fans every single day there was no way he would remember me, and why should he? Well, I walked up to the window, gave my name, the lady handed me an envelope with 2 front stage tickets and to all access backstage passess! I was totaly blown away!! All I could think was , "He rememberd me!" I was going to see Dio perform with Deep Purple, a long time dream!
    I went back to work in a daze. My company commander, who had heard of my adventure meeting Dio, walked up to me and asked sarcasticly if Dio had even remembered a lowly SGT like me. I looked at him and showed him the tickets and the backstage passes and gave him a big S%%T eating grin. He did an about face and walked away. Later I was told to report to his office. I did so, and he informed me that I would have duty that night. I was floored. I had so hoped to thank Dio in person for remembering me. The captain asked me what I would be doing with the tickets now that I would not be going. I knew then what he wanted, and there was no way I was going to give it to him. I saluted and left his office, marched straight to my squad, picked out my 2 lowest ranking soldiers and asked them if they had ever heard of Dio. One had, the other was sadly lacking in musicle appreciation. I then informed them they would have a duty to perform that night. They were to take my 2 tickets and go to the concert! I knew Dio would have wanted that, and whats more, I wanted to expose the younger ones to great music! But there was no way I was giving up my pass. That would be mine forever, to remember that a great Rock God had remembered me. Those passes hang next to my autographed T-Shirt from Metallica, my Zack Wild signature pick, the drum stick lars Ulrich handed me at a concert after endoring almost 12 hours at the front row of Rock am Ring, a 3 day rock fest with almost 100,000 attending here in Germany.
    Dio, I will always remember you, my only regret is that I will never get to thank you in person for remembering me so as thanks I have started to expose my daughter and son to your music.
    Dio now that you are up above, I hope you are jamming with Hendrix, grooving with Bach, and rocking with Mercury. Raise the devil horn for all of us Dio! We love you!

    May 17, 2010 at 3:47 am | Report abuse |
    • 10string

      I hope you slashed the tires of that officer. You deserved to go to the show. thanks for serving and all you sacrifices.

      May 17, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adrian

      Thank you for sharing your experience of a man with great character. PM

      May 17, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Adrian

    Also, why did CNN not mention that Heaven and Hell was Black Sabbeth with a diffrent name? Even the AP press report on Yahoo was better than this CNN!!

    May 17, 2010 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Donna

    He wil be greatly missed. I hav an original vinyl of Black Sabbath wit Dio. It wil be treasured always. I send my sincere sympathy to his family. Brightest blessings to him n his loved ones. My heart goes out to u. For those of u who say he is evil, satanic, n all ur other ignorant remarks i say "U call urself christians, btr check urself. U dont hav the right2judge. When ur time comes ur cruel n hateful self righteousness wil come back to bite u. To Dio n his family i hope u can find comfort knowing he no longer is suffering. Be assured he is with u. Open ur hearts n u wil feel his presence. PeaceLoveLight. Im sorry for ur loss. He wil be remembered by all who loved him. Be blessed. .

    May 17, 2010 at 4:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. Marney

    His message was clear! Metal is not dead and long live rock n roll!!
    Keep rocking DIO!!!!!

    May 17, 2010 at 5:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. chander

    sad loss for the true blue metal rock worshippers..RJD is the greatest vocalist for me. he's the 'man on the silver mountain'

    May 17, 2010 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. Psychobolia

    This sucks, he was one of the best singers out there. CNN should have his picture on the cover.

    May 17, 2010 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
  15. Vane

    The KING of METAL Ronnie James Dio is gone from our lives but will NOT be forgotten. He had a SACRED
    HEART he was never the LAST IN LINE people loved the music he played and sung.
    The HOLY DIVER watched him like a RAINBOW IN THE DARK.
    He will look over his ROCK N ROLL CHILDREN we will still play his music for HEAVEN & HELL
    R.I.P RONNIE JAMES DIO

    May 17, 2010 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
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