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Metal legend Ronnie James Dio dies at 67

Emma Brown

Ronnie James Dio, the heavy metal legend who replaced Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath and later was the front man for the band Dio, died this morning. He had stomach cancer.

Mr. Dio started his career with the British metal group Rainbow in the 1970s and joined Black Sabbath in 1980. He sang and wrote on the 1980 album "Heaven And Hell," considered by more than a few connoisseurs to be among the best heavy metal albums ever.

He was part of the 1981 follow-up "Mob Rules," about which a Rolling Stone critic wrote:

"After 1980's harder and faster Heaven and Hell, there was reason to believe that singer Ronnie James Dio might pull Black Sabbath off the heavy-metal scrapheap. Didn't happen."

After that less-than-fawning review, he split with Black Sabbath during a feud over the band's 1982 album, "Live Evil," and then had an on-again, off-again relationship with the band. In between stints with Black Sabbath, he led his own band, Dio. Here he sings "Rainbow in the Dark," which was Dio's release and reached #13 on VH1's list of the 40 greatest metal songs.

Wendy Dio, his wife and manager, posted a statement on his website:

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.

More than 10,000 fans have left their condolences on Dio's Facebook page.

By Emma Brown  |  May 16, 2010; 4:50 PM ET
Categories:  Emma Brown , Musicians  | Tags: ronnie james dio black sabbath, ronnie james dio died  
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A shame about Dio - that little guy could *sing.*

Bon voyage Over the Rainbow, Ronnie.


Posted by: -bc- | May 16, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

A talented man who did what he loved for 40+ years and got rich and famous doing it, deservedly so. Also a classy guy. RIP RJP. \m/

Posted by: mr_bill_10 | May 16, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

RIP Ronnie James Dio. He pretty much defined heavy metal, as far as I'm concerned. I'm gutted. It feels like rock 'n roll died today.

Oh, and Rolling Stone mag was way off the mark in that review of "Mob Rules". It was an incredible album and almost as influential as "Heaven and Hell." But then, those critics never really got what made Ronnie special for so many of us.

Posted by: acoberst1 | May 16, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I am really sorry to hear this. Ronnie was a great singer and songwriter. He also enjoyed having a beer with the fans. He was a really top notch guy and I don't think any metal fan would have anything bad to say about him.

Posted by: info81 | May 16, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Who? Never heard of the guy.

Posted by: ssmorehouse | May 17, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

I loved the man and his music.He was and is the best metal singer.When i use to play in metal bands in the dc/md areas my singing range was closer to his,but im so glad i had an chance to play his music,but still im sad because i wont get the chance on earth to meet him RIP!!!My prayers goes out too the whole dio family and fans Peace!!!

Posted by: warrioroffaith_34 | May 17, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

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