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* ROCKER DIO DIES Heavy metal rocker RONNIE JAMES DIO has lost his battle with stomach cancer. He was 67. The Heaven & Hell star passed away at a hospital in Houston, Texas on Sunday (16May10). His wife Wendy initially denied internet reports the rocker had died earlier in the day, but revealed he was not doing good - and now his partner admits she is heartbroken over the loss of her beloved husband. In a statement to Blabbermouth.net, she says, 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. Born Ronald James Padavona in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to an Italian family in 1942, he changed his name to Dio after mafia member Johnny Dio. He found fame in 1957 with The Vegas Kings; the group changed their name several times before disbanding in 1967. He then went on to front Elf with guitarist pal Nick Pantas before forming another band, Rainbow. In 1979, Dio joined Black Sabbath, replacing Ozzy Osbourne, but after just three years he quit to form the band Dio, with drummer Vinny Appice. They went on to enjoy great success, releasing ten studio albums. In recent years, Dio and Appice rejoined Black Sabbath members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler to tour under the moniker Heaven & Hell, and he was also inducted into the Rock Walk of Fame in Hollywood in 2007. Dio is survived by his wife Wendy, his adopted son Dan, and two grandchildren. Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden) and Ronnie James Dio (Dio & Black Sabbath) backstage Iron Maiden performing at Madison Square Garden New York City, USA - 30.7.03

Heaven And Hell, Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath

The launch of 'When Families Grieve' outreach initiative held at Madison Square Garden. - New York City, USA - Thursday 8th April 2010

Gary E. Knell
Gary E. Knell
Gary E. Knell
Gary E. Knell
Gary E. Knell
Gary E. Knell
Gary E. Knell
Gary E. Knell

at the Detroit Pistons vs New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden - New York City, USA - Wednesday 3rd March 2010

Michelle Trachtenberg
Michelle Trachtenberg
Michelle Trachtenberg
Michelle Trachtenberg
Michelle Trachtenberg
Michelle Trachtenberg
Michelle Trachtenberg
Michelle Trachtenberg

performing live at Madison Square Garden - New York City, USA - Thursday 25th February 2010

Michael Franti
Michael Franti
Michael Franti
Michael Franti
Michael Franti
Michael Franti
Michael Franti
Michael Franti
Michael Franti
Michael Franti
Michael Franti
Michael Franti

performing on stage during his 'Battle Studies Tour', at Madison Square Garden - MSG - New York City, USA - Thursday 25th February 2010

live in concert at Madison Square Garden - New York City, USA - Wednesday 24th February 2010

performing live at Madison Square Garden - New York City, USA - Wednesday 24th February 2010

attend the game between the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks - New York City, USA - Wednesday 3rd February 2010

PBR & Garth Brooks Teammates For Kids Foundation press conference in Madison Square Garden - New York City, USA - Friday 8th January 2010

Celebrities watching the New York Knicks vs. Charlotte Bobcats basketball game at Madison Square Garden - New York City, USA - Thursday 7th January 2010

performs live in concert at Madison Square Gardens on New Years Eve - New York City, USA - Thursday 31st December 2009

Celebrities watching the New York Knicks vs. Phoenix Suns basketball game at Madison Square Garden - New York City, USA - Tuesday 1st December 2009

The Knicks v Celtics basketball game at Madison Square Garden - New York City, USA - Tuesday 20th October 2009

at the Afterparty for Common's Concert with Maxwell at Madison Square Garden. - New York City, USA - Monday 28th September 2009

performing live in concert at Madison Square Garden - New York City, USA - Thursday 27th August 2009

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