Ronnie James Dio has lost his battle with cancer and passed away today (May 16) at the age of 67. Wendy Dio, his wife and manager has released the following statement:
Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45 a.m. [on Sunday] 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private goodbyes 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.
Dio spoke about his battle with cancer with the Artisan News Service on the “black carpet” of the Revolver Golden Gods Awards on April 8. When asked about how he had been feeling since he was diagnosed with the disease late last year, Dio said, “Well, I feel good and bad at times. It’s a long process. Chemotherapy is a… I never realized what a difficult thing it was to go through. It’s a real cumulative effect the more you have, the more it piles up on top and it takes longer and longer to get over it. I find it very difficult to eat. I don’t like to eat anyway, so I guess that’s OK. But I know I have to. But this makes it very, very hard. But if you’re determined to beat it, then you have to go with what you believe is going to beat it for you, and in this case it’s that. I go to a great hospital in Houston called M.D. Anderson, which I think is the best hospital in the world, I have the best doctor in the world, Dr. Ajani, who I really trust and I really believe in, so I think I’ve done all the right things. It makes me feel positive about my life and positive that there is a lot more of it to live.”
Earlier this month, Heaven & Hell, Dio’s most recent project, canceled its summer tour plans in Europe due to Dio’s treatment for stomach cancer. The band said in a statement that Dio wasn’t well enough to tour this summer. We hope that everyone understands and want to thank fans and industry colleagues for their continuing support at this time.
Born Ronald James Padavona in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Ronnie James Dio had performed with Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Dio. Other musical projects included the collective fundraiser “Hear ‘n Aid.” He is widely hailed as one of the most powerful singers in heavy metal, renowned for his consistently powerful voice and for popularizing the “devil’s horns” hand gesture in metal culture.
The members of Twisted Sister, along with millions of metal fans around the world, mourn the death of our friend Ronnie James Dio. Ronnie not only was a giant in the worldwide metal scene, but he was also one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. Beginning in 1983 when we first toured with Ronnie in Canada, and continuing over the last seven years when we played dozens of festivals around the world, Ronnie was one of the most supportive and gracious members of the music community.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Wendy and Ronnie’s family.
Eddie Trunk statement on Ronnie James Dio’s passing:
This is a blog I truly wish I was not writing.
My hands are shaking on the keyboard, so excuse the typos.
I lost a dear friend today, someone who I loved way beyond just the brilliant music he gave the world for decades.
Sadly, it has been confirmed that Ronnie James Dio has lost his battle with cancer.
In my 27 years in the business I have never met anyone like Ronnie.
I am fully aware of people that I deal with, and people that deal with me, because it’s the business and what we do, but Ronnie was way beyond that. Nobody ever gave me the public show of support and respect back like Ronnie, and our friendship went way beyond the business.
I will never forget the first time I did a TV interview with him. I had done years of radio but when I first started as a host at VH1 Classic doing interviews under the show name Hangin With… Ronnie was one of the first to come in. I was wrapping up the interview and thanked him for coming by when he stopped me in mid-sentence and said, No, thank you. More artists should be thanking you because your the real deal and you keep us alive. On camera, out of nowhere, early on in my TV career.
That was Ronnie James Dio. One of the classiest, most sincere, real people you could ever know.
Sometimes it’s hard to find nice things to say about people when they pass. Not Ronnie. I could go on forever with similar stories and so can anyone else that had the honor to call him friend. I have memories and stories for a lifetime that I will cherish forever, way too many to get into here, especially in my current state as I type this.
Video of the last time I saw Ronnie is on the home page of [my official web] site. It was at the Golden Gods [Awards] in L.A. April 8th of this year. I had asked him to be a guest on That Metal Show a few days earlier. Wendy [Dio, Ronnie’s wife/manager] called me the day before this interview and said he was not well and they were headed to the doctor. You could imagine how thrilled I was to see him on the red carpet for the awards the next day. He told me he had a bad reaction to a treatment but was okay. Needless to say, I was hoping the same recovery would happen when news came my way early this morning that he was not well. Tragically it didn’t.
The man fought this as bravely as anyone could as you can see by how he looks and sounds in the clip.
Ronnie and I spoke on the phone when he was first diagnosed privately. It was a great conversation.
I always knew how he felt about me and after we spoke he knew how I felt about him.
I really need to process this. It is a tough one, to say the least. Between RAINBOW, DIO and SABBATH, his voice was consistently the most heard on my radio shows, and that will never change; the music truly will live on forever and I will see to that on my end, for sure.
To his fellow fans, friends and family, I express my deepest sympathy for your loss and I shed the same tears as all of you today.
We have lost a legend. A brilliant musician but way beyond that, and more importantly, one of the classiest nicest people you could ever hope to know.
Rest in peace, my friend. You will be missed, but know I and so many more you touched will be sure you are never forgotten through your music and love and friendship you gave us all.