Ronnie James Dio

Ronnie James Dio.

Ronaldo James Giovanni Padavona (July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010), better known as Ronnie James Dio, was an American rock and heavy metal vocalist and songwriter. He performed with, among 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. He often ranks as one of the greatest vocalists of all time. His idol was Mario Lanza. He is credited with popularizing the "metal 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 only 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".


Dio's career spanned over fifty years. During this period, and particularly in the 21st century, he received a number of distinctions and awards. He was inducted into the Cortland City Hall of Fame in 2004, and has a street named after him there called Dio Way. In his post-Elf band Rainbow, Ronnie wrote some of the first Power Metal lyrics. 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 for his work on The Devil You Know, making him the oldest recipient of this award at age 67. He accepted the award in person at what was to be his final public appearance, less than one month before his death. The main stage of Bloodstock Open Air is also named after him in tribute after Heaven & Hell pulled out upon his death. Also the main stage on Masters of Rock festival carries his name since summer 2010. A Dio monument has been unveiled in Kavarna, Bulgaria. Persian death metal band, Arsames dedicated their 2010 album, Immortal Identity, to the memory of Ronnie James Dio.
Rolling Stone magazine eulogized Dio with these words: "It wasn't just his mighty pipes that made him Ronnie James Dio — it was his moral fervor...what always stood out was Dio's raging compassion for the lost rock & roll children in his audience. Dio never pretended to be one of the kids — he sang as an adult assuring us that we weren't alone in our suffering, and some day we might even be proud of conquering it".
On July 10, 2011 in parallel to Ronnie Dio's birthday in Cortland, NY was held a day-long event featuring many central New York local bands and talent for a benefit to the Stand Up and Shout Cancer foundation for cancer research and Dio Memorial concert. Part of the proceeds from the event went to fund a memorial music scholarship for the local city high-school in his name.
Ronnie James Dio

Dio June 11, 2009
Background information
Birth nameRonaldo James Giovanni Padavona
BornJuly 10, 1942
PortsmouthNew Hampshire,United States
DiedMay 16, 2010 (aged 67)
Los AngelesCalifornia,United States
GenresHeavy metalhard rockblues rock
InstrumentsVocalsbassguitarkeyboards,trumpetfrench horn
Years active1957–2010
Associated actsDioRainbowBlack Sabbath,Heaven & HellElfHear 'n Aid,Tenacious D
WebsiteOfficial website


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