Ronnie James Dio 1942 – 2010

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Ronnie James Dio RIP

Ronnie James Dio
July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010

Ronnie James Dio RIP
Illustration by Steve Chanks

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.”
Tony Iommi

“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.”
Nikki Sixx

“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.”
Billy Corgan

“R.I.P. Ronnie James  Dio. A God amongst singers and a true gentleman. You are the King of  Rock and Roll.”
Chris Jericho


  • 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)
Vinnie Paul, Josh Bernstein, Ronnie James Dio and Scott Ian