It is with great sadness that we report the passing of legendary singer RONNIE JAMES DIO (BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, RAINBOW) who lost his battle with stomach cancer today at the age of 67. His wife/manager Wendy Dio has updated the Dio website with the following:
"Today (May 16th) my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am. 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."
You can leave your condolences on Facebook
Dio remembered in photos here
Longtime BW&BK scribe Mark Gromen has offered the following:
It seemed like he'd be there forever, but now goes the sad news Ronnie James Dio has passed to the other side of life's rainbow. One of metal's true ambassadors, in Rainbow, Heaven & Hell/Black Sabbath and his own outfit, he launched countless careers and turned millions more onto the musical form we all love. The first time I saw him perform was at the old Syria Mosque, in Pittsburgh. A college radio DJ, Holy Diver was a staple of my hand-picked playlist. So when the tour bypassed Cleveland, a buddy and I hit the road, to see the diminutive man with a giant voice. Years later, on the Lock Up The Wolves tour, and then again for Dehumanizer, we met after he headlined the intimate outdoor venue Nautica, right on the river of downtown Cleveland. Soft spoken and always taking time for the fans, many of whom inanely ask the same questions one after the other. In the days before artists lined their pockets with extra cash, thanks to charging for "meet & greet" session, Dio made each feel special (when he really didn't need to spend SO much time) and never a cross word. Prior to the Heaven & Hell reformation, would still try to see Dio when he came through town (even if some of the albums were weak), as the back catalog is beyond reproach. In the last few years, be in H&H at the house of Blues in Atlantic City, or overseas, at Bang Your Head festival and Wacken, it was as close to royalty as metal fans are likely to get. Revered (if not downright loved) universally, band members, as well as fans all want a photo with Dio, an autograph, or just the chance to say hello. Hopefully you had the pleasure. His music, horned salute and influence will live on. Long live Ronnie Dio!