Ronnie James Dio dies at 67; legendary heavy metal singer


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He replaced Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath and was also lead singer for the bands Rainbow and Dio. Many of his songs revolved around the struggle between good and evil.

Ronnie James Dio, a legendary heavy metal singer who replaced Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath and also was lead singer for the bands Rainbow and Dio, has died. He was 67.

Dio died Sunday, according to a statement on his website by Wendy Dio, his wife and manager.

Maureen O'Connor, a Los Angeles publicist, said Dio died in Los Angeles. No cause was given, but Dio had said last summer that he was suffering from stomach cancer.

"Today my heart is broken," Wendy Dio wrote. "Many, many friends and family were able to say their private goodbyes before he peacefully passed away."

Dio replaced Osbourne in Black Sabbath in 1979. His first album with Sabbath, "Heaven and Hell," helped rejuvenate the group, selling more than 1 million copies. But Dio left soon after the release of "Mob Rules" in 1981 to form Dio.

He returned to Black Sabbath briefly in the 1990s and more recently had formed Heaven & Hell, basically a version of the band without Osbourne.

"Because I've been in and out of [a number of bands], people think I'm difficult," he told The Times in 1997. "That [probably] comes about because I'm very intense about what I do. I have a really high standard, and I expect people around me to reach that standard as well. That's probably unfair."

He was born Ronald James Padavona on July 10, 1942, in Portsmouth, N.H., and raised in New York. He once said he would have preferred playing for the Yankees to a life in rock music. He started his career with local bands such as the Vegas Kings.

His career took off in 1975 when he joined Rainbow. Dio had been playing with Elf, a band originally called the Electric Elves, but after guitarist Ritchie Blackmore quit Deep Purple, he brought most of the band into Rainbow.

"With a guy who played guitar like Ritchie … and had this dark demeanor, it was perfect for me to get into a place where I could start writing darker and heavier things that I always wanted to do," he told the Press & Sun-Bulletin of Binghamton, N.Y, in 2007.

Many of Dio's most memorable songs revolved around the struggle between good and evil, including "Heaven and Hell." He also drew heavily on medieval imagery in such songs as "Neon Knights," "Killing The Dragon" and "Stargazer."

"I consider myself a singer, not a shouter," he told the Buffalo News in 2007. "It's always interesting to me when over the years fans have come up to me and said, 'Man, nobody screams like you!' I know they mean it as a compliment, but inside I'm going, 'I'm not a screamer, I'm a singer.' It's about a marriage of technique and feel, emotional content — not just screaming."

In 1986, Dio organized "Hear N' Aid," an all-star charity collaboration to raise money for famine relief in Africa.

"He possessed one of the greatest voices in all of heavy metal and had a heart to match it," Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French, whose band has toured with Dio since 1983, told the Associated Press.

Dio called off a European tour last year to begin treatment for his cancer.

"Most people have careers that last from three to five years, especially in metal," he told The Times in 1997. "When you've have this good a run, you certainly don't complain."
Along with his wife, Dio is survived by a son, Daniel; his father, Pat Padavona; and two grandchildren, according to O'Connor.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Extraordinary Member
YouTube - Tenacious D feat Dio - kickapoo

a sad day indeed, I thought his music was cool growing up, and loved his role as a rock devil in "Pick of Destiny" singing "Kickapoo" with Jack Black and Meatloaf.

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You bet,

A classic:

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Heaven & Hell


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Ronnie james dio dead from stomach cancer at age 67


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Another Classic Song................Rainbow in the Dark

Rainbow in the Dark:

"1983 Ronnie James Dio "Rainbow In The Dark" (Rock Palace)

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2006 Interview and Tour of his house


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The Dio Memorial:

The first photos and fan-filmed video footage from Ronnie James Dio's public memorial service — which was held this afternoon (Sunday, May 30) at the Hall Of Liberty at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, in Los Angeles — can be viewed below.

More than 1,200 fans attended the event, which featured performances by Geoff Tate (QUEENSRŸCHE), Glenn Hughes (BLACK SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE), Paul Shortino (QUIET RIOT, ROUGH CUTT), Joey Belladonna (ANTHRAX), John Payne (ASIA), Oni Logan (LYNCH MOB), Claude Schnell (DIO) and Scott Warren (HEAVEN & HELL, DIO), along with personal tributes from Ronnie's family members, bandmates and business associates. According to the Associated Press, hundreds more gathered in the scorching heat outside the auditorium to watch monitors of the proceedings.

"He touched all of us with his music and his message and his magic," said David "Rock" Feinstein, Dio's cousin and ELF bandmate. "I know that Ronnie truly loved all of you. He had a great appreciation for your loyalty. I'm talking about all you out there, all the fans."

According to the Associated Press, Dio's son, Dan Padavona, cautioned the memorial crowd to be screened regularly by a doctor and take care of themselves, something he said his father did not do.

"I beg you not to make the same mistake my dad made," said Padavona. "For dad, the show always had to go on. He ignored the warning signs for years, and all along the cancer was growing and mutating from something that was probably easily defeatable into a monster which even Dio couldn't slay."

"He had that magic," remembered Willie Fyfe, Dio's longtime personal assistant. "He always called it magic. Once he had a crowd in his hands, that's where they stayed until it was time to go, then he'd give them back, and walk off and do his thing. Bless him. He's still doing that now, and the guy is in a coffin."

It has now been confirmed that two major concerts are being planned to celebrate the life of the late Ronnie James Dio. The gigs — dubbed Ronnie James Dio "Stand Up And Shout" Memorial Concerts — will take place in London and Los Angeles in the fall. There are also plans to hold annual events in the years to follow "so that Ronnie is never forgotten" and to raise money for cancer awareness and support, according to artist manager Adam Parsons.

Ronnie James Dio's widow, Wendy Dio, recently asked fans to ignore a protest by members of the Westboro Baptist Church, a fringe Christian congregation from Kansas, at Dio's public memorial service. The far right church announced its plans shortly after Dio's death, calling the late metal vocalist a "Satan-worshiper" and claiming he was "residing in hell."

As news of the group's protest began to spread online, Wendy Dio posted a message saying, "Ronnie hates prejudice and violence. We need to turn the other cheek on these people that only know how to hate someone they didn't know. We only know how to love someone we know!"

According to one person who attended today's memorial, the WBC "protesters were cordoned off outside of Forest Lawn grounds proper and were small in number with an at least equal number of counter-protesters." He added, "All seemed orderly despite the usual idiocy from the WBC folks."

Westboro Baptist Church is led by "minister" Fred Phelps, who has previously claimed that terrorist attacks and natural disasters are God's revenge for a society that tolerates homosexuality.

The church feels that they "have the duty to protest and picket at certain events, including funerals, to promote their religious message."

Members of the church have staged demonstrations at funerals of fallen soldiers.

Dio, who fronted BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW and his own band, died on May 16 from stomach cancer at the age of 67.

Ronnie James Dio's casket (photo credit: Paul Legerski):

Many more pictures and videos:

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