Sunday, May 16, 2010

Metal Legend Ronnie James Dio Passes Away At 67

After a night wrought with wild rumors hastening his demise - ones dismissed by a statement by his wife/manager Wendy, the rock world was devastated today by the news that indeed metal vocal legend Ronnie James Dio has passed away at the age of 67.

The diminutive vocal powerhouse was in his seventh round of chemotherapy, being treated in a Houston hospital for stomach cancer.

In a statement released by Wendy Dio this morning, she said the following :

“Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45 a.m. [on Sunday] 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private goodbyes 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.”

Born Ronald James Padavona in 1942 in Portsmouth, N.H. He began playing in rock bands starting in the late ‘50s in Cortland, N.Y., and eventually formed the band Elf in 1969. A tour as opening act with Deep Purple led to Dio’s first big break – he caught the ear of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, who formed the band Rainbow with the vocalist. Several iconic albums followed while Dio was in the band, including the classic 'Rainbow Rising' in 1976 - an offering regarded by many to be the high point of the band's career.

In 1979, after leaving Rainbow, Dio joined Black Sabbath, replacing Ozzy Osbourne. With him at the vocal helm the band enjoyed a creative and commercial resurgance, releasing the classic 'Heaven and Hell' (1980) which became one of their best selling albums. The title track  ranked #81 on VH1's list of the top 100 hard rock songs. In 1982, after leaving Black Sabbath during the mixing of the live album 'Live Evil', he formed Dio, with whom over the next quarter century he would release ten studio albums, further cementing his position as one of the finest vocalists the metal scene has ever produced.

In 2006, he rejoined his former Black Sabbath bandmates Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice in Heaven & Hell, completing a 98-date world tour, with a studio album released in April 2009.

Heaven & Hell was slated to be supporting Iron Maiden on July 30th, 2010 in Dublin, Ireland and on August 11, 2010 in Bergen, Norway. However, on May 4th, due to Dio's health complications, the tour was canceled.

We at Nightwatcher's House Of Rock would like to express our deepest condolences to Ronnie's family and fellow friends at this time - and also raise the horns high in salute to one of the masters of metal. Thank you Ronnie for being a prince among men and for flying the flag when others faltered throughout the years -you WILL be sorely missed! Cheers on a life well done.


Seano said...

Wow I posted the same vid at Circle of Fits. We must be sharing metal brainz! What a loss, one that will take some real time to get over. Why is there not more footage of Rainbow anywhere? Or even Elf? Could the Nightwatcher do some investigating?

Bob Andelman said...

Ronnie James Dio fans might also enjoy this lost interview with the singer from May 22, 1986 on Mr. Media Radio.

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