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. Matthew

    Ronnie James Dio was an amazing talent. I was lucky enough to catch one his last performances in Boston Aug 28, 2009. I was thrilled that even at his age he was at the peak of his abilities and had an honest connection with an audience who just adored him. He could have retired long ago and still would have deserved all the accolades fans are giving now after his passing. That he continued to record and tour I am forever I am grateful. Thanks Ronnie. You will be missed.

    May 17, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. PDXguitarfreak

    IMO, one of the top 4 "metal" singers of all time, along with Osbourne, Halford and Dickenson (one could argue that Gillan belongs there too, but Deep Purple really weren't "metal"). What an amazingly powerful voice he had! He was truly a one-of-a-kind. And let's all ignore the ridiculous judgemental postings that accuse of him of being a devil worshiper... what a bunch of fools. Sure he sang of man's struggle with religion and evil, but that doesn't make the man himself evil.

    May 17, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jack

    A true legend has passed. You will be sadly missed. I will be celebrating his career by broadcasting "Heavenand Hell" DVD from 2007 here on this Website: Download the veetle player and enjoy!!
    http://www.veetle.com/v/4ab175e330ba7

    May 17, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. PDXguitarfreak

    Dio was truly one of the greatest metal singers of all time – on par with Halford, Dickenson and Osbourne. He had such a powerful voice. And let's ignore those that cast judgment on him when they do not understand him, his lyrics, or how he lived his life. Dio sang about many things, including the struggle between man, religion, and "evil." RIP Dio

    May 17, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gypsy

    Ronnie was one of a kind. He will be missed but always for remembered for his many musical contributions as well as his kind heart.

    May 17, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. juan

    los mejores momentos de una etapa de mi vida tu musica la cual seguire escuchando siempre.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Donzo Knecht

    It's Very Sad When Even The Sesame Street Gang Has To Get Invovled And Be Disrespectful When A Human Being Has Passed On... Remember Jesus Died Too, But Was Re-Risen 3-Days Later... And I Believe That Makes Jesus The Final JUGDE... Ronnie James Dio Was A Great Person And I Think His Destiny Is GOD'S Choice, Not Ours!!! I Have Been A Big Fan Of DIO For Many Years, I Also Have A Deep Religious Background, But That Background Does Not Give Me The Right To JUDGE Ronnie Or Any Other Person For That Matter.... If You Are Here Posting Comments Then You Are Obviosly In Human Form And Do Not Know What Follows When You Die? Therefore Please Stop All The Bickering And Focus More On Your Own Lives Because Tomorrow Is Never Promised.... I Think It Is Pretty Arrogant For Anyone To Make Any Assumption About What Happens When The Soul Passes On.... Weather Ronnie Made It To Heaven Is Not Ours To Decide, BUT GOD's ONLY!!!! I'm Not Trying To Come Across As A Holy-Roller, All I Can Do Is Pray GOD Showed His Mercy And Reached Ronnie In Passing.... GOD Bless Wendy And All Friends,Family,& Fans.... Ronnie Will Be Missed Dearly...... Sincerely, Donzo

    May 17, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gaza

    Absolute legend. Rock on Ronnie. One of the true pioneers of heavy metal. Sadly missed. Condolences to Wendy and the family.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  9. fanfivan

    human our social

    May 18, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. omar enrique saiz

    in the past time Dio and Black sabbath teached me with his music to worship Satanas, now , thanks to Jesus I found the real God and peace in my hearth and my mind, I hope that his family found the Real Lord in Jesus Cristh not In satan.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. Joe r parzych

    Holy Diver
    You've been down too long in the midnight sea
    Oh what's becoming of me

    Ride the tiger
    You can see his stripes but you know he's clean
    Oh don't you see what I mean

    Gotta get away
    Holy Diver

    Shiny diamonds
    Like the eyes of a cat in the black and blue
    Something is coming for you

    Race for the morning
    You can hide in the sun 'till you see the light
    Oh we will pray it's all right

    Gotta get away-get away

    Between the velvet lies
    There's a truth that's hard as steel
    The vision never dies
    Life's a never ending wheel

    Holy Diver
    You're the star of the masquerade
    No need to look so afraid

    Jump on the tiger
    You can feel his heart but you know he's mean
    Some light can never be seen

    happy 50 something years of singing

    May 18, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. SHADIQ

    YOU ARE THE SKY ..HELPED US TO FLY WITH YOUR TIMELESS MUSIC..
    WE WILL ALWAYS CHERISH YOU AND KEEP U IN OUR HEARTS FOREVER.
    R.I.P.

    May 18, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tom

    I saw Dio several times during the 80's. Dio was, and still is, the voice and Godfather of Metal. R.I.P. Dio.

    May 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tom

    Dio was and still is the voice of Metal. R.I.P. Dio, the Godfather of Metal!

    May 18, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BRYAN

    A ROCK GOD IS GONE.HIS MUSIC WILL LIVE ON FORVER.FANTASTIC FRONTMAN WHO KEPT CROWDS ON THEIR FEET.HE REALLY WAS A CRAFTY SONGWRITER AND OH THOSE POWERFUL VOCALS.SAW HIM 4 TIMES AND HE NEVER DISSAPOINTED ME.I ALWAYS LEFT THE SHOW SMILING.RONNIE,THANKS FOR YOUR GIFT OF MUSIC.YOU WERE LOVED BY MANY AND YOUR MUSIC LIVES ON.R.I.P.GOD BLESS WENDY

    May 18, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
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