Posted by themusicsover on May 16, 2010
Ronnie James Dio (Born Ronald Padavona)
July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010
Ronnie James Dio was one of the greatest heavy metal vocalists of all time. While the rest of us can only wish to front just one great legendary rock band, Dio could claim Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Elf, Heaven & Hell, and of course, Dio. And unlike most, if not all metal singers, during Dio’s early years, he fronted a rockabilly band, Ronnie & the Red Caps. By the early ’70s, Dio was moving into the blues rock world with his next band, Elf who would find its audience by touring with the likes of Deep Purple. A few years later, guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple and formed Rainbow, inviting Dio to sing lead in the group. His albums with Rainbow include Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Rainbow Rising, and Long Live Rock and Roll. In 1979, Dio was hired to replace Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath, with whom he recorded the classic Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules albums, among others. Dio finally began recording under his own name in 1980, and as Dio, released such landmark metal albums as Holy Diver, The Last In Line, and Sacred Heart. It is no doubt that Dio was one of the driving forces of heavy metal, but his contributions to the genre went beyond his instantly recognizable voice. During his tenure with Black Sabbath, Dio began flashing what would become known as the “devil horns” hand gesture from the stage, perhaps not inventing the symbol, but definitely making it heavy metal’s own. In November of 2009, it was announced that Ronnie James Dio was suffering from stomach cancer. On May 16, 2010, the cancer took his life at the age of 67.
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