\"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.\"
Born Ronald James Padavona in 1942, Dio\'s professional music career began as a high school student in the late 1950s. He started his career as a bassist with local band the Vegas Kings. Ronnie started singing in 1958 in Ronnie and the Redcaps, featuring Tom Rogers on drums.
The singer first came to the attention of rock fans as lead vocalist for the group Elf (featuring drummer Gary Driscoll and percussionist Mark Nauseef). His career took off in 1975 when he joined Rainbow, whose line-up featured powerhouse skinsman Cozy Powell among others.
In 1979 Ronnie joined Black Sabbath, replacing Ozzy Osbourne. It was during his time with drummer Bill Ward and the rest of the band that the frontman popularized the \"devil\'s horns\" gesture. Dio claimed that his grandmother used to make the hand gesture to ward off the evil eye, which is common among superstitious Southern Italians.
In 1982 Ronnie james Dio and drummer Vinny Appice decided to quit Black Sabbath and formed the band Dio. Another drummer famous for playing in Dio for a while is Simon Wright.
In a 1997 interview Ronnie said:
\"Because I\'ve been in and out of a number of bands, people think I\'m difficult. That probably comes about because I\'m very intense about what I do. I have a really high standard, and I expect people around me to reach that standard as well. That\'s probably unfair.\"
The last couple of years Ronnie James Dio had rejoined Black Sabbath without frontman Ozzy and they recorded and performed as Heaven and Hell. The album \'The Devil You Know\' was released in 2009.
Dio called off a European tour in November of that year to begin treatment for his cancer.
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