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. Alexis Rios

    Long Live Ronnie James Dio. Now you're an immortal!

    May 18, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      One week over an year.. Still her! All bless

      May 23, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Thomas Kerns

      I was able to shake Ronnie's hand in seattle in 2000 when he played at the Ballard Firehouse.There was only a handful of us in line at the time when up walks Geezer and Ronnie.They took more than a few minutes to meet all of us and Geezer signed a photo album full of cd covers...HE SIGNED EVERY ONE,True Gentlemen they were.

      December 14, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Alexis Rios

    RIP RJD \m/

    May 18, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. AMourningFan

    The flame that burns twice as bright, burns half as long. And you have burned so very very brightly Ronnie

    May 18, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Top Jimmy

    I can't believe you are gone, Mr. Dio. My condolences to Wendy. I don't know what to say except that there is a hole in my bass guitar's soul that can never be filled. I will forever play your music & remember what a gentleman you were when I met you at the Ballard FIrehouse in Seattle. Rock on, Sir! You are missed by all.

    Top Jimmy

    May 20, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Patrick

    I looked forwad to see you on sonisphere in Czech Republic, I will never see you, but I love your music, more then others.
    Rest in peace Ronald \m/ We will miss you

    May 22, 2010 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. panhead58

    I'm sick of heavy metal. condolences to the Dio family

    May 24, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. panhead58

    yeah, he was a pretty good entertainer,,,you people write funny,,, could you please move my post to the top of the list?

    May 24, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. panhead58

    thanks adrian for putting me to sleep with that story

    May 24, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. 80sMetalForever

    I've been listening to RJD this past week in memoriam and I'm still at a loss over this tragedy. Metal swept over me in the early 80s, just like millions of others, and has been a big part of my life since. I remember listening to the BS album Heaven & Hell on 8-track; probably my first exposure to him. Dio could basically do no wrong; every band he was in was great, I mean imagine being the one to replace Ozzy. Not only did he fill his shoes, he took the band to another level. His solo stuff was amazing...must have listened to Last in Line hundreds of times. And don't even get me started on Rainbow. The first 3 Rainbows are some of the top rock music ever recorded. RIP RJD and thank you for the music. Shame on CNN for the minuscule story; this guy is a legend in music and you can only spare a couple sentences? for shame THE METAL WORLD IS SLIGHTLY LESS HEAVY WITH HIS PASSING 🙁

    May 26, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sellena

    My first boyfriend worshipped Dio and always talked about how much he loved him. I didn't share the same love for Dio that he did, but I really liked him nevertheless. RIP Dio

    June 5, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. molyna

    Dio yo creci con tu musica y sin saber ingles pero el mensaje de tu muerte lo tuve hasta que mire el concierto de satophia de los 4 rest in peace mi idolo lo vi 14 veces

    July 20, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Egg Donor :

    ceiling fans are great for cooling a warm room with large area. i prefer them over multiple desk fans-`-

    October 26, 2010 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. metatron

    a great voice, a good man who was interested in fantasy themes ... he left a great legacy and amazing songs to us

    I never got why directors of fantasy films get credit but writers of fantasy music get heat ....

    RIP Dio we love you!

    December 31, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Metalhead

    RIP, my thoughts go up to you, and I am sorry about all these anti metal/rock crusaders attacking you even after your dead.
    Gives a bad name to my religion of Christianity (shocked anti metal people? a metal head christian, ya)

    January 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. somerandomguywhogotthislink

    such ignorance to say someones going to hell..........

    RIP Ronnie, god forgave him so he went to heaven

    January 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
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