Heavy metal pioneer Ronnie James Dio dies at 67

Ronnie James Dio, never to be forgotton

Ronnie James Dio, never to be forgotton

After battling the cancer that he was diagnosed with late last year, Ronald James Padavona (better known to his passionate fans as Ronnie James Dio) succumbed to his illness earlier today. He was 67 years old.

Via his website (www.ronniejamesdio.com), his wife Wendy posted the following message:

“Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.”

Having performed with Elf, Rainbow and of course his own band Dio, he will probably be best remembered as the man who replaced Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath. While Sabbath’s music may have been more trailblazing beforehand, and while many argue that Ozzy was a better fit for the band, few could counter the fact that Dio was a superior singer in terms of talent.

He was, unquestionably, one of the greatest singers not only in heavy metal’s history, but in the spectrum of rock music as a whole.

More recently he has been performing with his former Black Sabbath bandmates under the moniker Heaven & Hell.

In addition to his musical contribution to heavy metal and pop culture, he will forever be associated with his signature hand gesture, the act of throwing up the “devil horns.”

RIP Dio. Thank you for your music. I extend my sympathies to your family and your fans worldwide. Horns up.

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  • THE CHAMP

    TRULY TODAY IS A SAD DAY FOR ME. THE MIGHTY RONNIE JAMES DIO HAS LEFT OUR WORLD. RJD WAS THE SINGLE GREATEST METAL SINGER OF ALL TIME. I STARTED LISTENING TO DIO BACK IN THE EARLY 80’S AND HAD THE PRIVALEDGE OF SEEING HIM 6 TIMES. EVERY TIME WAS AMAZING! HE WAS ALWAYS A STAND OUT PERFORMER AND EMBODIED EVERYTHING THAT IS/WAS “METAL”. I HAVE EVEN BEEN IN TWO FIGHTS IN MY LIFE THAT STARTED BY SOMEBODY DISRESPECTING RJD! REST IN PEACE!

    THE CHAMP MORGAN
    KILL THE CLIENT- VOCALIST

  • Flavia Schmidt

    Today I felt orphan for the second time. Dio has always treated me as caringly as a father.

    I had the privilege of being born on the same day as our beloved Ronnie James, and another great privilege of being his special guest in one of his Brazilian tours.
    The few hours we spent together, talking and laughing, showed me the huge heart this generous man had.
    I still have that tiny piece of paper where he wrote down his home address, to get the photos I took from the tour…by post mail! No emails at that time yet.

    Dio repeated 10 times the word MAGIC to me. Now I understand the meaning and the value it had to him!

    WHEREVER YOU GO, MY HEART WILL BE WITH YOU, Master.
    SAUDADE ETERNA
    F S

  • Justin

    Thank you for everything, Ronnie.

    Rest well and God speed.

  • Yes, losing DIO was a stinger!

    I am still in shock over it.

    I just wish I could wake up and discover it was all a bad dream.

    Have a peep here for my special “Reflections on this Metal Legend”:

    http://demolishmag.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/dio-r-i-p-reflections-on-a-metal-legend/

    Horns Up: \m/

    Kinger
    Demolish Mag.

  • Hey Jay,
    This is Dennis Dread writing. We met at MDF while Repulsion was playing. R.I.P. DIO! Did you get to catch Deceased doing ‘Stand Up and Shout’ as an encore??? Great blog man! All the best…
    ~Dennis

  • JHG

    Dennis! Thanks, and great to hear from you. Keep in touch, man. I didn’t catch that Deceased set, actually…RIP DIO…