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)

    It was starting to rain
    On the night that they cried forever
    It was blinding with snow
    On the night that they screamed goodbye
    They were lost in the dark
    And they never returned
    Just like somebody slammed the door
    On Rock 'N' Roll Children
    Alone again
    Rock 'N' Roll Children
    Without a friend

    Rock on RJD

    May 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kimberly Sainz

    Condolences here

    May 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Marcelo.

    God needed your voice to make Heaven a less boring place. Thank you, Master, for all the dreams you have inspired us. Long live the Moloik,

    Marcelo – Argentina.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Stefan Lewandowski

    This man will never be forgotten and will live on through his music for ever.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. lula rivera

    dio is and was the best singer for sabbath i followed him thru all my child hood years. i loved his lyrics and in his music , it put me in a magical place in my mind.where i could escape from reality. i just saw his concert with heaven and hell and it was the best concert a saw in my life. may you rest in peace dio you will be missed by all your fans and especially from me god bless and rest in peace.thanks for the memories !

    sincerly yours
    luis lula rivera

    May 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. David

    The Metal community has lost a legend, but his spirit will live on every time the horns are thrown and a head is banged. R.I.P. Mr. Dio R.I.P.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Christine S

    I am so sad. May he rest in peace. Best metal voice ever !

    May 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jan Olsen

    What a terrible loss! Long live rock n roll! R.I.P

    May 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ben

    He was such a great singer. I saw him a few years back on the Heaven and Hell tour. He was outstanding even at 66 years of age. He willed be missed greatly.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rodfromnc

    Sad stuff. It reminds us of our mortality and how fleeting life is. It reminds us that we are here briefly and that we all, with each breath, get closer to death. And it suggest that without Dio, life may not be worth living anymore.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. w

    We will miss you Ronnie...RIP

    May 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Curtis W.

    Long Live Rock N Roll – Rest in Peace, Ronnie!
    We'll see and hear you on the other side.
    May Peace be with your family and friends!

    May 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. beyond fallen

    Very sad to hear that Ronnie James Dio has passed away. The world has lost a true talent, and a music legend. He was a big influence on me. I'm happy to have met him a few times, he was such a great guy. I'll never forget all the live shows, from my very first concert, to seeing him on the day I found out my son was on the way into this world. There will never be another like him.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Morten

    Rock In Peace, Rest In Rock... What do you say when a great rocker passes? His legend will live on for many years to come. It's really sad when someone you've "known" for many years moves on.
    My Taekwon-do master master also died from cancer. Everybody thought he was off his rocker when he said that cancer was a good way to die, but when he explained that it gave him time to get closure on things and say goodbye to his friends and family we knew his incredible wisdom had not left him.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dmw1082

    Dio's music has been a part of my life for a long time and I am old enough to remember his musical evolution as it happened. He will be missed.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
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