Ronnie James Dio

Ronnie James Dio, born July 10, 1942, is an American heavy metal singer, songwriter, and composer. He rose to prominence as a stand-out vocalist in the world of heavy rock through his contribution to the success of various bands such as the Vegas Kings (later renamed Ronnie and the Rumblers), Elf, and Deep Purple. This prominence earned him the role of lead singer for Black Sabbath in 1979. Dio later left the band to establish the band Dio in 1982. He also started a band, Heaven & Hell, with his ex-bandmate Toni Iommi in 2006.

Fast Facts

Full Name:

Ronnie James Dio



Birth date:

July 10, 1942

Death date:

May 16, 2010 (age 67)

Zodiac Sign:



5' 3"

Relationship Status:


Net Worth:

$10 million

Ronnie's Social Media:


Ronnie James Dio Padavona was born on July 10, 1942, to parents Patrick and Anna Padavona in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. While growing up, Dio listened to a lot of opera and was greatly influenced by American tenor Mario Lanza. At age five, after his father encouraged him to play an instrument, Dio chose the trumpet. During high school, he formed his first rock ‘n’ roll band, The Vegas Kings in 1957. He played the trumpet, started singing, and learned to play bass guitar.

The Vegas Kings underwent many name changes between 1958 and 1967, including Ronnie and the Rumblers, Ronnie and the Redcaps, Ronnie Dio and the Prophets (the first time the moniker Dio was used), The Electric Elves, and eventually Elf. The band grew in popularity and became a regular opening act for Deep Purple. In the mid-1970s, Dio caught the attention of Deep Purple’s lead vocalist, Ritchie Blackmore, who invited Dio and other members of Elf to join him in forming a new band called Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. After three albums with Rainbow, Dio was invited to replace Ozzy Osbourne as lead vocalist in Black Sabbath. Dio stayed with them for two studio records before forming his own band called Dio in 1982. The band released 10 albums, with the last one being “Master of the Moon,” released in 2004.

In 2006, Dio reunited with Black Sabbath members Tommy Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice to tour under the name Heaven & Hell. The band paid tribute to the first Dio-era Black Sabbath album of the same name. The band recorded three new songs in 2007 and finished a 98-day world tour in 2008.

Dio was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2009. His last performance was with Heaven & Hell on August 29, 2009. He died in 2010.

Career timeline

Dio Forms the Vegas Kings

Dio, together with other Cortland musicians, forms the band Vegas Kings, later renamed Elf, and regularly open for Deep Purple.

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow

After leaving Deep Purple, Ritchie Blackmore invites Dio to form a band, Rainbow, which releases three successful albums.

Dio Joins Black Sabbath as lead singer

Dio departs from Rainbow in 1979 and replaces Ozzy Osbourne as the lead singer for Black Sabbath after he meets the band’s guitarist Tommi Iommi.

The Band Dio is Formed

After leaving Black Sabbath, Dio forms a band named after himself, Dio, which releases a total of 10 albums, with the last one released in 2004.

Dio Forms Heaven & Hell

Dio forms a band named Heaven & Hell with Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice, all current and former Black Sabbath members.

Why We Love Ronnie James Dio

  1. Hear `n Aid project

    In 1985, Dio sang some of the vocals on the single ‘Stars,’ which formed part of an album of various artists for charity. The project raised one million dollars in a year, and the money helped charities such as Band-Aid and U.S.A. for Africa.

  2. Dio never did drugs

    Although drug use was widespread among heavy metal singers, Dio never touched drugs. He is quoted as saying: “I saw how destructive it was, and how it dulled your sensibilities and ate up your talent and your life.”

  3. His voice was unique

    According to many fans and musicians, Dio had one of the most unique voices in metal, and today it serves as a template for aspiring metal singers. His voice has been described as “a rich baritone that could rise through the octaves.”

5 Surprising Facts

  1. His major at university

    Dio studied at the University of Buffalo, where he majored in pharmacology.

  2. Dio has an adopted son

    Dio’s adopted son, Dan Padavona, became a prominent thriller author.

  3. Garden gnome accident

    Dio accidentally severed his thumb when a garden gnome fell on it, but a doctor was able to reattach it.

  4. Dio’s famous devil horns

    Dio was the one who came up with the famous devil horns hand gesture used by most metal artists today.

  5. Dio Way, Cortland

    This famous metal singer was so prominent that he was inducted into the Cortland City Hall of Fame and had a street named in his honor called Dio Way.

Ronnie James Dio FAQs

What was Ronnie James Dio’s biggest hit?

Dio’s biggest hit was ‘Heaven & Hell,’ released in 1980 when he was the lead singer of Black Sabbath.

Why was Ronnie James Dio called Dio?

The name Ronnie James Dio first appeared on the 1961 album by the band then known as Ronnie Dio and the Prophets, and the word means ‘god’ in Italian.

Is Ronnie James Dio Italian?

Although he was born in the United States, Dio’s parents were both Italian-American.

Ronnie James Dio’s birthday dates

2024July 10Wednesday
2025July 10Thursday
2026July 10Friday
2027July 10Saturday
2028July 10Monday

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