Earlier this morning in Los Angeles at 7:45 am, metal rock legend Ronnie James Dio died after fighting a 6 month battle with stomach cancer. Dio revealed to his fans shortly after finishing his tour last summer in Atlantic City, NJ where he did a Black Sabbath incarnation with the band name of Heaven and Hell.
The rock world is indeed losing one of the greatest artists of our era. Fans and friends around the globe are truly in mourning after hearing the confirmation today.
The following statement was published on Dio’s official fan website by his loving wife Wendy:
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.
– Wendy Dio
You can visit the official fan website at ronniejamesdio.com
Dio rose to fame in 1975 by joining the band Rainbow that was started by ex lead guitarist Richie Blackmore. He then replaced the legendary singer Ozzy Osbourne in the group Black Sabbath in 1980. The first album entitled Heaven and Hell was said to be one of the finest heavy metal albums ever produced by critics all over the world.
He also had a very successful solo career with his self-titled band, Dio, in between his three efforts with Black Sabbath, (1980-82; 1992; and 2007-2009, when the band toured as Heaven and Hell.
“He possessed one of the greatest voices in all of heavy metal, and had a heart to match it,” said Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French, whose band toured with Dio since 1983, and was to do so again this summer at European rock festivals. “He was the nicest, classiest person you would ever want to meet.”
Other famous rock bands such as Killswitch Engage have covered songs such as Holy Diver which has been a great compliment to Dio in many Dio fan’s opinions.
Dio also organized an all-star charity collaboration in 1986 called “Hear N’ Aid” that raised money for famine relief in Africa, styled on the successful “We Are The World” campaign that took place a few years earlier.
To Dio fans, all of his music was excellent but three tunes in particular that made his fame a legendary one was Holy Diver, Rainbow In The Dark and The Last In Line.
To rock fans all over the world, Ronnie James Dio will be truly missed.
You can see Dio in action with Black Sabbath in our video community by clicking HERE
He is survived by his wife as well as his son Daniel; grandchildren Julie and Joey; and father Pat