The legendary Ronnie James Dio has passed away after a valiant battle with stomach cancer, his wife Wendy confirms.
Today my heart is broken. Ronnie passed away at 7:45am [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.
I honestly thought RJD would beat this thing. You might have seen our previous video post showing Ronnie at the Houston hospital where he was receiving treatment. “Cancer, I’ll kick the hell outta you!” Dio said in the clip.
Then there was this April appearance at VH1’s Revolver Golden Gods awards. He talked about how difficult chemo is, but he looked pretty good:
Dio is my favorite metal singer. The guy was 666 kinds of ridiculous, but utterly unmatched in conviction and unadulterated rock power. He was a nice guy, too. I find it somewhat bizarre that I’m performing my first “band” gig in a decade on the same day that RJD shrugs off his mortal coil. I’ll have to dedicate a song to him.
Ronnie’s last release, as a member of Black Sabbath Heaven & Hell was a shitload better than it needed to be. So were the live performances from recent tours. You’d be hard pressed to find another 67 year-old rocker who could belt it out like RJD.
So raise your fist in a full devil’s horn salute to the grand master of metal. We’ll miss you, Ronnie.