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. Greg

    Thank you Dio for your songs that got me through my teen years...

    May 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ebryax

    I will miss you Ronnie James Dio....you inspired me to pick up the guitar. Gonna jam some Holy Diver in your memory right now....

    For a great performance by RJD, see "Tenacious D : the pick of destiny" Classic Dio.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. al

    Sad, Talked with him after a show in the 80's in Rapid City SD, very nice man! my FAV. singer! R.I.P. have a tat of the sabbath cross with hand thru it thats how much of a fan of his I am.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Phil

    There's no sign of the morning coming, You've been left on your own, Like a Rainbow in the Dark
    R.I.P. Ronnie Jame Dio

    May 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tommy

    See you in Hell Ronnie. What? Like he's going to Heaven?

    May 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • gaza

      No such thing as heaven or hell you fools.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. brennan

    Dio will live on!

    May 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. cal_in_space

    They say that lifes a carousel
    Spinning fast, you've got to ride it well
    The world is full of kings and queens
    Who blind your eyes and steal your dreams
    Its heaven and hell... Oh well
    And they'll tell you black is really white
    The moon is just the sun at night
    And when you walk in golden halls
    You get to keep the gold that falls
    Its heaven and hell

    RJD RIP

    May 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Steven from Taos

    It is incredibly sad to hear of Ronnie James Dio passing away today . I had the pleasure of meeting him a few times – he was a true gentleman , always took time to talk with fans and take photos – never left a venue until every fan had a chat and a photo , that is rare these days !!!!!!!!!!
    \m/ \m/

    May 16, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Neil Hawker

    RIP Ronnie...thanks for the inspiration and lasting memories

    May 16, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. brennan

    \m/

    May 16, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BrandonM

    On the first piece of rock n roll I ever bought. Thank goodness got to see him with Sabbath.

    Ronny youll be missed.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tragic

    And only now will this man's talents finally and tragically be recognized. This loss is beyond words, the world is full of kings and queens who blind your eyes and steal your dreams indeed RJD, you are metal.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bittybaby

    RIP, DIO

    May 16, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Steve

    A unique talent and voice. It wouldn't matter what song he sung, you would always know that voice. R.I.P. Ronnie.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Michael

    Years ago I had the pleasure of touring with him, and he was one of the nicest men I have ever met. I am so very sorry to hear of his passing, and wish all of his family the best through this very difficult time.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
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