Ronnie James Dio

Ronnie James Dio
Ronnie-James-Dio Heaven-N-Hell 2009-06-11 Chicago Photoby Adam-Bielawski.jpg
Dio performing in Chicago in 2009
Ronald James Padavona

(1942-07-10)July 10, 1942
DiedMay 16, 2010(2010-05-16) (aged 67)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Los Angeles
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active1957–2010
Home townCortland, New York, U.S.
  • Loretta Berardi
    (m. 1963)
  • Wendy Gaxiola
    (m. 1978; his death 2010)
ChildrenDan Padavona (adopted)
Musical career
Associated acts

Ronald James Padavona (July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010) known professionally as Ronnie James Dio or simply Dio, was an American heavy metal singer-songwriter and composer. He fronted or founded numerous groups throughout his career, including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven & Hell.

Dio was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where his family resided for his father's service in the U.S. Army during World War II; they soon relocated to Cortland, New York. His music career began there in 1957 as part of the Vegas Kings (later Ronnie and the Rumblers). In 1967, he formed the rock band Elf, which became a regular opening act for Deep Purple. In 1975, Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore founded the band Rainbow along with Dio, where he began a successful career releasing albums like Rising (1976) and Long Live Rock N' Roll (1978). In 1979, Dio joined Black Sabbath as lead singer. He appeared in three studio albums of the band which met with success: Heaven & Hell (1980) and Mob Rules (1981) and Dehumanizer (1992). In 1982 he left the band to pursue a solo career, having two albums certified platinum by RIAA. In 2006 he founded the band Heaven & Hell with ex-bandmate Tony Iommi. Dio was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2009, from which he died the following year.

Dio is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal artists of all time.[5][6] He is known for introducing and popularizing the "Metal Horns" hand gesture in metal culture and his medieval-themed song lyrics.[7][8] According to a version provided by the singer himself[9], the act derives directly from the classic Italian apotropaic gesture, which his grandmother usually did. Dio had a powerful, versatile vocal range and was capable of singing both hard rock and lighter ballads. He was awarded the "Metal Guru Award" by Classic Rock Magazine in 2006. He was also named the "Best Metal singer" at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in 2010 and ranked as the genre's best vocalist in 2013 by music journalist Sacha Jenkins.[10]

Early life

Ronald James "Dio" Padavona was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Italian-American parents from Cortland, New York. His family moved to Portsmouth from Cortland as part of his father's service in the U.S. Army during World War II[11] and they resided there for only a short time before returning to Cortland. Padavona listened to a great deal of opera while growing up, and was influenced vocally by American tenor Mario Lanza.[12] His first formal musical training began at age 5, learning to play the trumpet.[12] Padavona participated in his high school's band program and was one of the youngest members selected to play in the school's official dance band.[citation needed] It was also during high school that Padavona formed his first rock-n-roll group, "The Vegas Kings", which would later be named "Ronnie and the Rumblers" and then "Ronnie and the Red Caps". Though Padavona began his rock-n-roll career on trumpet, he added singing to his skill set and also assumed bass guitar duties for the groups.[citation needed]

Padavona graduated from Cortland High School in 1960. He was allegedly offered a scholarship to the prestigious Juilliard School of Music but did not take up the offer due to his interest in rock music.[13] Dio instead attended the University at Buffalo to major in pharmacology.[14] He played trumpet in the university's concert band; however, he only attended the university from 1960 to 1961 and did not graduate.[11]

Despite being known for his powerful singing voice, Padavona claimed to have never received any vocal training.[15] He instead attributed his singing ability to the use of breathing techniques he learned while playing trumpet.[16]

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Ronnie James Dio
العربية: روني جيمس ديو
aragonés: Ronnie James Dio
asturianu: Ronnie James Dio
azərbaycanca: Ronni Ceyms Dio
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Роні Джэймз Дыё
български: Рони Джеймс Дио
čeština: Ronnie James Dio
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Ronnie James Dio
français: Ronnie James Dio
Bahasa Indonesia: Ronnie James Dio
íslenska: Ronnie James Dio
македонски: Рони Џејмс Дио
Nederlands: Ronnie James Dio
português: Ronnie James Dio
Simple English: Ronnie James Dio
slovenčina: Ronnie James Dio
slovenščina: Ronnie James Dio
српски / srpski: Рони Џејмс Дио
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Ronnie James Dio
українська: Ронні Джеймс Діо
Tiếng Việt: Ronnie James Dio