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Featured Artist - RONNIE JAMES DIO
Featured Artist - RONNIE JAMES DIO Photo


Ronnie James Dio - 

Ronnie James Dio (born Ronald James Padavona, July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010), was an American rock and heavy metal vocalist andsongwriter. He performed with, among others, ElfRainbowBlack SabbathHeaven & Hell, and his own band Dio. Other musical projects include the collective fundraiser Hear 'n Aid. He was widely hailed as one of the most powerful singers in heavy metal, renowned for his consistently powerful voice. He is credited with popularizing the "metal horns" hand gesture in metal culture. Before his death, he was collaborating on a project with former Black Sabbath bandmates Tony IommiGeezer Butler, and Vinny Appice, under the moniker Heaven & Hell, whose only studio album, The Devil You Know, was released on April 28, 2009. Dio died of stomach cancer on May 16, 2010 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank, CA. One of the last songs he recorded was titled "Metal Will Never Die".Ronnie James Dio has sold over 47 million copies of albums with all of the bands he has worked with.

Early years, education and musical training

Ronnie James Dio was born in PortsmouthNew Hampshire to Italian parents. The family resided in Portsmouth and moved to Cortland, New York early in his life. Dio listened to a great deal of opera while growing up, and was influenced vocally by American tenor Mario Lanza. He received no vocal training at all and his only formal musical training was as a trumpet player beginning at age five.

Dio graduated from the Cortland City School in 1960, and was inducted to the Cortland City School Hall of Fame in 2004. He was also honored on November 15, 1988 by his hometown naming a street after him, Dio Way.

During a performance at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center in Darien, NY (near Buffalo, NY) on September 19, 2007, Dio revealed that he had attended the University at Buffalo, majoring in pharmacy. He attended from 1960 to 1961 but did not graduate. He formed one of his early bands during his freshman year.

Dio said in one interview that he was offered a scholarship to the Juilliard School of Music but did not pursue it due to his interest in rock music. Despite being known for his powerful singing voice, Dio claimed never to have taken any vocal training. He attributed his singing ability to the correct breathing techniques he learned when playing the French horn as a child. He initially played the trumpet and French horn and even recorded several singles with various rockabilly bands when he was a boy.


Although his trademark tales of "dungeons and dragons" may have single-handedly inspired Spinal Tap (more specifically, Tap's overblown epic "Stonehenge"), Ronnie James Dio was unquestionably one of heavy metal's most talented and instantly identifiable vocalists. Born Ronald James Padavona in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on July 10, 1942, the young Dio started his music career at an early age, playing bass and trumpet for a local band called the Vegas Kings. The band changed names over the years, until the late '60s when the group became the Electric Elves, specializing in rock and folk sounds. By the dawn of the '70s, their name was shortened to simply Elf (with Dio focusing on lead vocals full-time, and changing his name to Ronnie James Dio) and a record deal came their way, with ex-Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover producing. After several releases failed to chart, ex-Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, who had just left the Purple and was looking to form a new project, invited most of Elf to join his new outfit, Rainbow.

While Blackmore's original musical plan for Rainbow was to get back to basics (the complete opposite of what the rock dinosaur Deep Purple had become toward the end), the new group ended up sounded more or less like Purple -- in fact, a more apparent prog rock edge was added. Such hit albums as 1975's Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, 1976's Rising, 1977's On Stage, and 1978's Long Live Rock 'n' Roll helped introduce Dio to the heavy metal masses worldwide, but when Blackmore made it clear that Rainbowwere his band, Dio jumped ship. Shortly thereafter, Dio received word thatOzzy Osbourne had left Black Sabbath, and a tryout was arranged. Dio got the gig immediately (penning most of the Sab classic "Children of the Sea" at their initial jam session), and helped Sabbath break out of their creative and commercial slump, resulting in such metal classics as 1980's Heaven and Hell and 1981's Mob Rules. With Sabbath enjoying their greatest success in years, Dio shocked the metal world by leaving what appeared to be a promising union after the spotty Live Evil release appeared in 1982.

Fed up with the "singer for hire" tag that was bestowed upon him by many, Dio set out to form his very first solo project, called simply Dio. Similar in style to his previous bands but with a slightly more commercial edge, Dio's first two solo albums, 1983's Holy Diver and 1984's Last in Line, racked up platinum sales -- making the band an arena headliner in its own right (complete with a highly theatrical and prop-heavy stage show). In 1985, Dio also found time to lead a heavy metal version of Band Aid/USA for Africa called Hear 'n Aid, which saw an all-star group of metallists performing a Dio-penned song, "Stars," with all the funds of the single and album of the same name going to fight starvation in Africa. Although Dio couldn't sustain their initial commercial success, they remained a consistent metal attraction. In the early '90s, Ronnie mended his differences with his old Sabbath mates, and found himself fronting the band once again for an album, 1992's Dehumanizer, and subsequent tour. Predictably, the reunion didn't last long, and he returned back to solo work, resulting in such albums as 1996's Angry Machines, 2000's Magica, and 2002's Killing the Dragon.

In 2006 Dio reunited with his late-era Black Sabbath brethren Tony Iommi,Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice to form Heaven & Hell, named afterSabbath's first recording with Dio in 1980. Heaven & Hell toured in 2007 and released the two-disc CD/DVD Live from Radio City Music Hall later that year, and the full-length studio recording Devil You Know arrived in 2009. However, in November of that year Dio's wife, Wendy, announced that the singer was suffering from stomach cancer, although indicating that the disease was in its early stages and expressing hope for a full recovery and return to performing. Nevertheless, Heaven & Hell subsequently canceled their summer 2010 touring plans and, sadly, Ronnie James Dio succumbed to the disease on May 16, 2010, at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

| Closed on 12/25/13 at 05:00PM
FanIQ Pts? No | Locker Room, Music | Multiple Choice Opinion Poll
4 Fans 
25%a. 10 (Great Artist)
75%b. 7-9 (Like most of this songs)
0%c. 5-6 (Liked a few songs)
0%d. 1-4 (No interest / Never heard of him)
0%e. He sucked!

2 Comments | Sorted by Most Recent First | Red = You Disagreed
Vote for your favorite comments. Fans decide the Top Comment (3+ votes) and also hide poor quality comments (4+ votes).
#1 | 145 days ago

Amazing musician! 

I became a fan of his with his Holy Diver album, back in HS and then as I learned more about him being a part of the band Rainbow as well, not to mention Sabbath.

2 interesting facts that weren't mentioned in the bio;

1) He is the originator of the DEVIL HORNS  (see picture in Poll).  He is credited for coming up with that gesture.
2) His logo, if turned upside down, spells devil

10 (Great Artist)  
#2 | 145 days ago

I saw Dio in concert. I thought the show was fantastic for the time.
7-9 (Like most of this songs)  

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