Ronnie James Dio
July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010
Born Ronaldo Giovanni Padovan, but to legions and legions of metal fans, he was known simply as DIO. On Sunday, May 16th, this giant of a man passed after his long battle with stomach cancer. His loving wife of many years Wendy has informed everyone of the news and that he has lost his brave battle, but that he’d be in our hearts forever. A true loss to the entire heavy metal world.
He was 5’4” in height, and about 6’8’ in voice. Whether standing up and shouting or seeing rainbows in the dark, Ronnie James Dio embodied all that was heavy metal. Heck, he even invented the genre’s defining hand signal, the “Devil Horns” when he reinterpreted his grandmother’s hand gesture to ward of the evil eye onstage in the 1970s. Ronnie got his start in music as a young child in Cortland, NY, playing trumpet in a rockabilly band. He switched to bass and then assumed the role he was born for, lead singer. He would record with various groups during the late 1950s and ‘60s until he formed the blues-rocking Elf. From there it was his dominance in Rainbow, to his resurrection of Black Sabbath to his greatest achievement, his own band, DIO.
Dio’s voice soared like the wings of a demon, so said Jack Black on the 2001 comedy record smash “Tenacious D.” He was larger than life, he was a hero to many, and blessed the many he touched. He wasn’t a drinker, smoker or a partier, he was like someone’s really nice uncle, that happened to look like Rhea Perlman, and also happen to sing metal insanely fucking well.
From all of us here at Royal Flush, we would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Wendy and the entire Dio family. The world lost one of the true legends of rock and roll and one of the nicest fellas ever walking God’s green Earth. Here’s to you Ronnie… HORNS UP!
“His music will live on forever. The man with the magic voice is a star amongst stars, a true professional. I’ll miss you so much, my dear friend.”
“Ronnie was one of the kindest souls I have ever met and his talent was beyond inspirational to so many of us. I still have this image of him standing on stage in front of 100,000 belting out ‘Man on the Silver Mountain’ and remember the shivers it sent up my spine. He will be missed by all of us.”
“R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio. I only got to meet him once and I can honestly say he was the nicest person I have ever met in music. Ronnie was a true gentleman, and obviously one of the best rock singers there will ever be. What a sad loss today.”
“R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio. A God amongst singers and a true gentleman. You are the King of Rock and Roll.”
BEST DIO MOMENTS EVER
- 1958 Dio releases his first ever single with his first group, Ronnie and the Red Caps
- 1967 Dio forms the blues-rock band The Electric Elves, also lays down the bass.
- 1972 Elf opens for Deep Purple, setting the stage for what would become Rainbow
- 1975 Dio & Ritchie Blackmore give the world “Man on the Silver Mountain”
- 1979 Dio replaces Ozzy and joins Black Sabbath
- 1982 Dio quits Black Sabbath and forms DIO, releases the classic album “Holy Diver”
- 1985 Dio records “We’re Stars” for Hear ‘n Aid, a African-famine relief charity
- 1992 Dio rejoins Black Sabbath for “Dehumanizer”
- 1997 Dio dueted with Pat Boone on “Holy Diver”
- 2001 Dio first teams up with Tenacious D for the tribute song “Dio”
- 2007 Dio rejoins and renames Black Sabbath with Heaven & Hell
- The Vegas Kings (1957–1958)
- Ronnie & The Ramblers (1958)
- Ronnie and the Red Caps (1958–1961)
- Ronnie Dio and the Prophets (1961–1967)
- The Electric Elves (1967–1969)
- The Elves (1969–1970)
- Elf (1970–1975)
- Rainbow (1975–1979)
- Black Sabbath (1979–1982)
- Dio (1982–1991)
- Black Sabbath (1991–1992)
- Dio (1993–2010)
- Heaven and Hell (2006–2010)