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. J Jackson

    stomach cancer is one BMF, it took my farther in law, not a nice way to go, but it is very quick. so many rockers seem to fade away...Ronny died with his boots on.

    May 16, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. edrpz

    Dio has always been my fave' singer. Today is a very sad day.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dio

    RIP...Ronnie James Dio's music will live on forever...I still remember the night when I heard Holy Diver for the first time, it blew me vocalist of all time!!!!!!!!!!

    May 16, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ed

    Dio's gone but his music can still live on!

    May 16, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sean

    Heaven and Hell....I can tell – We musn't dwell. Very good showman. Ozzy must be proud. Thoughts and prayers to wife and Family.....I saw him back in the 80's. Very good showman. Grew up on sunset strip with the other hair bands. Glad I did. Reminds me of other legends whom also died suddenly 🙁 Sad Day for all

    May 16, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. J Jackson

    Sorry "Ronnie" it's late in the UK.....

    May 16, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Anonymous

    You will be missed Dio =(

    May 16, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chris

    Tremendous voice, tremendous individual. Those of you only familiar with his work with Sabbath or Dio, I highly recommend a listen to "Stargazer", from "Rainbow Rising". To me, that was his best work, and in these days when religious leaders have far too much power, its lyrics are worth a careful read, too. Best line: "Time standing still, then there's blood on the sand."

    But all his work carried a ferocious intensity. Every syllable delivered with gusto and precision. Every song taut and bone-crushing. We will honor his memory every time we make his commitment and dedication our own.

    Rest in Peace, man.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. david

    not only he was a LIVIN LEYEND....... now he will be an eternal one!
    thanks DIO ; now go and ROCK THE HEAVENS!

    May 16, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Shooting Stars

    One of the greatest performers I've ever photographed. Heaven will truly shine brighter. Rock On!

    May 16, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Charles

    Very sad to read the news of Dio's death. He was a legend. I wish the write up could have been more complete. Dio also performed on Black Sabbath's Dehumanizer and had put out two albums with the band Heaven and Hell. He will be missed.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dahan

    Sorry to lose him. My best to his friends and family. A legend worthy of being so.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rob - Australia

    I remember many moons ago joining the fan club and getting a plethora of stuff in the Mail.
    Seems surreal RJD is gone.
    "Die Young"
    RIP Ronnie.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Andy

    At least he made it to 67, unlike so many other rock stars. RIP!!!

    May 16, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BB

    So sad that one of the great heavy metalist passed on...wonder if he will get the coverage like Michael Jackson did...nope not even close...what a shame that he will not even get the credit he deserves.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
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