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. Ken

    I saw Ronnie with Sabbath and with Dio several times over the years and I can say we lost a true King of Rock Vocals who was truely never given his due. Maybe now the world can lend an ear to someone who can never be replaced. A part of us died with you Bro! This tear is for you!!! We will never forget what you have done here!!! R.I.P Mr. James

    May 17, 2010 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. Wizk

    A monster of a legend and a gentleman among men. RIP Dio knowing that you changed the world for the better.

    May 17, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ken

    Hey look, THE Heaven and Hell thing is wild, but the truth is, once you realize that evil has no power over you, you are free to listen to whatever you want. Read Romans 8. I now can revisit the music for the power vocals and sounds with no strings attached because I know my Redeemer lives.

    May 17, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. JAY

    May 16th the day that metal died 🙁

    May 17, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  5. david

    As i sat in the darkness of my living room last night listening to Dio's music i light up a candle, there in the wall was the shadow of Ronnie's Metal hand gesture but only the pinky finger was extended and not the index. i kept staring at it all night and thinking... this is magic!!! a part of metal has die but his music will live on for ever!!!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Abu

    You are my true Rock idol...no one can beat your wonderful rock Voice...RIP

    May 17, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. Brazil Halison

    Life to Dio!!!!!!! Aways
    Vida ao Metal

    May 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jill

    R.I.P. Holy Diver! Thank you for touching me with your music and kindness. We Rock Forever.

    May 17, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brazil Halison

    Dio'll aways live in my heart

    May 17, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mike Pisano

    Great loss to music and there fans...We suffered a hugh loss with the passing of Legendary Singer Ronnie James Dio .He will live in our hearts forever.....

    May 17, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. kenpierce

    My views and images about the passing of Ronnie James Dio, the true Godfather of the Heavy Metal genre: http://piercingmetal.com/wordpress/?p=3784

    May 17, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joe P

    We're all family in music, We'll miss you big brother. R.I.P. and your family will always love and remember you. My heart is sad but I'll smile for you again.

    May 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bob Cincotta

    sad to hear he has left us. Had many good years growing up together in the east end. The fun we had when he played at dominos in Cortland. God Bless ole friend..you will never be forgotten as a friend or muscian. "prof" would be proud!!!!!

    May 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. michelle

    a true rock god has left the building and i will miss him very much rock on ronnie at least i got to see you live once at the community theatre in tacoma probly around 1988 i think and once in seattle truly will miss you i hope you have found peace and my prayers to your family as well

    May 17, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Doug Voodoo Simpson

    RemoveDoug 'Voodoo' Simpson Somewhere around 1979 – 80 I was in the back seat of this guy named Mel's old plymouth duster on the way to a bonfire party somewhere in Alberta near Edmonton. Mel put on the Black Sabbath Heaven & Hell cd and although I'd heard the singer before a few times it was never like this. He sang the words 'In the misty morni...ng, On the edge of time, We lost the rising sun, The final sign. So began my love affair with what I thought then and still do now, the greatest singing voice ever to grace our time. That voice was belting out from a 5' 2" imp of a man named Ronnie James Dio. From that moment on I followed that voice, no, almost worshiped that voice and at the very least coveted it, hoping one day I would be able to sing half as good as him. It became one of those love hate things where no matter how hard I tried I just couldn't get there, but at the same time my own voice got better and better to the point where I started to love the sound of my own singing voice. I still play that voice in my truck every chance I get, and then compare myself to it. I never wanted to sound like him and I don't, but it really gave me a ladder to climb as it were, some bit of greatness to strive for. A Scottish manager I was working with told the A&R guys at Escape' Records in Germany that he thought I could be 'the next Ronnie James Dio' and I felt kinda proud. Sadly however, this morning around 7:30 am my vocal hero Ronnie James Dio lost his fight with stomach cancer and died at the age of 67 years old. I only saw him sing live once, when Beau and Joe and I saw Sabbath last year. I'm so glad and it was an amazing show! Long live Rock & Roll....

    May 17, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
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