Ronnie James Dio (July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010) was an American heavy metal vocalist and songwriter. He performed with, amongst others, Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & 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 and for popularizing the “devil horns” hand gesture in metal culture. Prior to his death, he was collaborating on a project with former Black Sabbath bandmates Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice, under the moniker Heaven & Hell, whose first studio album, The Devil You Know, was released on April 28, 2009. Dio died of stomach cancer on May 16, 2010. One of the last songs he recorded was titled “Metal Will Never Die”.
I remember first hearing Ronnie James Dio when I was 7 years old. My brother had the live album “On Stage” by Rainbow. Although I don’t remember much about my thoughts back then it must have been strong enough cause those were the seeds that eventually made me the metalhead I am still 33 years later. After his passing I have read probably over 50 memorials written to him by musicians and 99% of them described him as the kindest person on earth. But there was also the demanding side on Dio and he hated prejudice above everything.
Ronnie James Dio left us classics to remember him by and for sure, he will never be forgotten. He had the most amazing voice in the business and although that voice is now silenced, it will never be forgotten. RIP.
Why Ronnie James Dio appreciates metal fans in Europe and Scandinavia more than for instance in USA can be found on below interview.
Ronnie James Dio talks about his cancer treatments in the hospital
I still can’t believe there actually was a person with a voice such as he did…