Happy Friday Metalheads! Hope you are having a great week after the long holiday weekend. Today we’re going to remember the life and career of Ronnie James Dio who would have been 77 this past Wednesday, July 10th.
Ronald Padavona began his music career in 1957 with a band called The Vegas Kings playing bass. Eventually, he began singing and changed the band name, as well as his name to Ronnie Dio after mobster Johnny Dio. In 1967, after his previous band disbanded, Ronnie formed Electric Elves, later shortened to Elf and recorded three studio albums while securing the opening act slot with Deep Purple. Ronnie caught the ear of Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and recruited Ronnie for his new band Rainbow after splitting with Deep Purple. Rainbow released their debut album in 1975 called “Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow.” However after releasing two more albums as well as a live album, Dio and Blackmore split due to creative differences, as Blackmore was looking to take Rainbow in a more commercial direction. In 1979, Ronnie replaced Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath and the band subsequently released “Heaven and Hell” and “Mob Rules” which put Sabbath back on the map. During the mixing of “Live Evil,” tensions erupted causing Dio to quit and form his own band, Dio. The band released their debut album “Holy Diver” in 1983. Dio went on to subsequently release 10 albums and although members changed over the years, Ronnie was always touring and recording.
In 2006, Ronnie joined Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice for the “Heaven and Hell tour” and had been touring with Heaven and Hell up until it was announced that he had cancer in 2009. Heaven and Hell cancelled their upcoming summer tour and Ronnie fought to get back to what he loved, however his health deteriorated and he passed away on May 16, 2010 at 7:45AM. His wife, Wendy Dio formed The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, a non-profit charitable fund dedicated to support cancer prevention research, raise awareness and educate the public about early detection in Ronnie’s honor.
Rest In Peace Ronnie!
Check out some of Ronnie’s best work during his long career:
LAST IN LINE
HEAVEN AND HELL
MAN ON THE SILVER MOUNTAIN