The small heavy metal rocker in stature, but big in hair and pipes has passed away on May 16 due to stomach cancer. Known for his devil’s horns and work both as a solo performer and with bands such as Rainbow, Elf, Heaven & Hell and Black Sabbath (he replaced Ozzy Osbourne in 1979), Ronnie James Dio spent six decades crafting his career as a heavy metal icon.
Classic Rock Magazine awarded Dio with the “Metal Guru Award” at their yearly “Roll Of Honour” awards ceremony in 2006, On January 17, 2007, Dio was inducted into Guitar Center’s Rock Walk of Fame in Hollywood, CA., Dio was named “Best Metal Singer” at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in April 2010.
Message from his wife Wendy Dio on Ronnie’s official web site:
Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. 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.
– Wendy Dio
Ronnie will surely be missed in the heavy metal world.
Explaination about Ronnie’s infamous devil’s horns symbol: Ronnie James Dio is known for popularizing the sign of the horns in heavy metal. His Italian grandmother used it to ward off the evil eye (which is known as malocchio, Dio’s term for the gesture). Dio began using the sign soon after joining Black Sabbath.