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Artist Ronnie James Dio United States of America (USA) (US) Birth ♋Fri 10 Jul 1942 (67 years, 10 months, 6 days, 24782 living days) • R.I.P. Sun 16 May 2010 (82 years, 0 months, 5 days, 29956 total living and posthumous days)

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Ronnie James Dio (born Ronald James Padavona) was an (Italian) American heavy metal vocalist and songwriter. He founded/fronted numerous groups including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven & Hell. He is credited with popularizing the “metal horns” hand gesture in metal culture and is known for his medieval themed lyrics. Dio possessed a powerful versatile vocal range capable of singing both hard rock and lighter ballads, according to Rainbow/Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore upon hearing him sing, “I felt shivers down my spine.”

He is known for popularizing the “devil horns” hand gesture in metal culture and his medieval-themed song lyrics. According to a version provided by the singer himself, the act derives directly from the classic Italian apotropaic gesture, which his grandmother often displayed.

Explanations vary for how Padavona adopted the stage name “Dio”. One is that Padavona’s grandmother said he had a gift from God and should be called “Dio” (“God” in Italian), although this was disputed by Padavona’s widow, Wendy, in a February 2017 interview. Another is that Dio was a reference to mafia member Johnny Dio; this explanation was confirmed in his autobiography.

Dio’s the best singer on earth.

Tim Baker, 1982

He is being thanked in the cover for King of the Dead and One Foot in Hell. In the picture is Ronnie James Dio with Tim Baker.

Also of interest to Cirith Ungol and Falcon fans should be the Holy Dio tribute album featuring Destiny’s End covering The Last in Line, where Perry Grayson plays on.

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14 years ago

I was expecting this to happen soon, but at the same time unbelievable. Long live rock n’ roll, Long live Ronnie James Dio!

Some of my favourite tracks with Dio on vocals:
Black Sabbath – Sign of the Southern Cross
Dio – All The Fools Sailed Away
Dio – Born on the Sun
Rainbow – Stargazer
Rainbow – Temple of the King

Ronnie anno 1960:
The Red Caps-An Angel Is Missing

Rüdiger Stehle
Rüdiger Stehle
14 years ago

Even if it didn’t come unexpected, this is still shocking. A terrible loss for all those with hearts and souls connected to Heavy Metal. He has always been there and has given us all so much. In eternal gratitude: Farewell Ronnie!


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