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Ronnie James Dio "loved by all"

The passing of Ronnie James Dio was a major loss for the hard rock community

Message from Wendy Dio yesterday:

"Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes 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."

Ronnie James Dio began his career with the hard rock bands Elf and Rainbow. In 1979, after leaving Rainbow, Dio replaced original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne in the pioneering UK heavy metal band Black Sabbath.

Dio formed his eponymous solo project in 1982, scoring a big hit and popular MTV video with "Rainbow in the Dark." The veteran rocker returned to Black Sabbath temporarily in 1992 to record the album "Dehumanizer."

In 2006, he and his former Sabbath bandmates recorded an album and toured under the moniker Heaven and Hell, also the title of Black Sabbath’s first album with Dio. In 2009 Ronnie James Dio released an album entitled "Heaven and Hell" which garnered much critical success.

Wendy Dio announced Dio’s stomach cancer diagnosis in November 2009.

You can leave your condolences on Dio's official Facebook page