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. KEN1968

    I'am saddened to hear the confirmed news of Ronnie James Dio's passing.
    Growing up as a teen in the late 70's and early 80's,Your music inspired my generation.
    I was fortunantly to catch Heaven and Hell back in 2005 @ the MTS Center.
    May your soul journey well to find peace !!!
    You will be missed,but your music lives on always.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JD

    Ronnie – never met you, but we've been together a long time. You're amazing, RJD! Loud and proud!

    May 16, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Limeydawg

    Ronnie James Dio was a poet for everyone. RIP, surely going to be missed.

    When there's lightning you know it always bring me down
    'cause it's free and I see that it's me who's lost and never found
    I cry out for magic I feel it dancing in the light
    It was cruel lost my hold to the shadows of the night
    No sign of the morning coming you've been left on your own
    Like a rainbow in the dark a rainbow in the dark
    Do your demons do they ever let you go
    When you've tried do they hide deep inside is it someone that you know
    You're just a picture you're an image caught in time
    We're a lie you and I we're words without a rhyme
    There's no sign of the morning coming you've been left on your own
    Like a rainbow in the dark just a rainbow in the dark

    May 16, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Shane Smart

    I'm devastated to hear of Ronnie James Dio's passing this morning. He was one of my most treasured whose incomparable voice and soulful croon is unfortunately now silent. One whose music and live performances were full of magic, fantasy, and pure volcanic metal thunder. His incredible stage presence, music and voice, at times hellishly dark and as well as heavenly beautiful, gave so many of us all over the world pure joy and goosebumps millions of times over, in a career that lasted nearly 50 years. From Elf to Rainbow to Black Sabbath to Dio to Heaven and Hell, the musical gems are genuinely timeless. I saw him live nearly 30 times, met him once, and his music gave me strength in some really f'd up times. I truly feel like I've lost a best friend of nearly 30 years. A true Rainbow in the Dark, Thank You, Ronnie, for giving us the gift of your music and talent that so many of us will never, ever forget. RIP.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ivan

    Rest in peace, Ronnie! I saw him in concert twice. A true legend of rock! "Stargazer", what a song!!!

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

    \m/ RIP \m/

    May 16, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. lorraine w

    the man on the silver mountain true metal icon thanks for the great music

    May 16, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. cash

    You've been down too long in the midnight sea
    Oh what's becoming of me
    Ride the tiger Ronnie
    R.I.P. You Rocked, and will be missed!!!

    May 16, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bigboxes

    I'm happy I had the pleasure of seeing him in '86 in front of 80k fans at the Cotton Bowl. Incredible talent with great pipes even at his age.

    RIP Ronnie

    We'll know for the first time
    If we're evil or divine
    We're the last in line

    May 16, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chris Wojtaszek

    RIP ... DIo you will be missed !!!

    May 16, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chartoff 76

    METAL RULEZ!!!!!

    May 16, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. twitch66

    such an awsome voice and stage presence.
    I didn't realize he was 67...
    still to young to die, but my oh my... how time flies.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. fritz

    RIP, were a legend as a solid rocker.

    Rock In Peace, brother!


    May 16, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Angel

    Thank u Dio for everything you gave us
    You are one of the greatest
    May you R.I.P
    My best wishes to your family
    you are a legened that will live in our hearts for many ages to come
    No one will ever forget Ronnie James Dio

    May 16, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. AD

    I am soooo bummed to hear this news. Ronnie had one of the greatest voices in heavy metal. Someone hooked my Heaven and Hell CD a few years ago, so I just purchased a replacement last year. I keep it in a safe place now! RIP, and condolences to his family and friends.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
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