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Dio

For a brief spell during the mid-'80s, the heavy metal quintet Dio were one of the top U.S. concert attractions, boasting one of the most over the top stage acts of its time loaded with props and special effects (lasers, explosions, a giant dragon, etc.). The group's leader was singer Ronnie James Dio, who had previously become acquainted with the metal masses as the frontman of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow from 1975-1978 and Black Sabbath from 1979-1982. Come the early '80s, Ronnie James was ready to finally head out on his own, forming Dio and recruiting a stellar backing band, consisting of a few former bandmembers, ex-Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain and ex-Black Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice (Carmine Appice's brother), in addition to ex-Sweet Savage guitar shredder Vivian Campbell. Lyrically, the group would retain the same subject matter that Ronnie James specialized in with his previous outfits (dungeons and dragons, swords and sorcery, damsels in distress, etc.), but musically, Dio were more melodically based than Rainbow or Sabbath. The group scored a hit right off the bat with its 1983 debut release, Holy Diver, which spawned such popular MTV videos as "Rainbow in the Dark," as well as its title track.

For their sophomore effort, 1984's The Last in Line, the band expanded its lineup to include keyboardist Claude Schnell, as the album would become the biggest hit of Dio's career (on the strength of another MTV-approved video, for the album's anthemic title track) and the group became an arena headliner. Although Dio's next release, 1985's Sacred Heart, was commercially successful, Campbell had become disillusioned by the group's direction and split from the group a year later. Just prior to Campbell's exit, the entire Dio band helped organize Hear n' Aid, an all-star assembly of heavy metal artists that recorded a track called "Stars," which helped fight world hunger (a subsequent album was issued as well, collecting previously unreleased live tracks from a few of the day's top hard rock acts). Former Giuffria guitarist Craig Goldy took Campbell's place, resulting in such releases as 1986's live EP Intermission and 1987's Dream Evil, which retained the group's headbanging audience, but failed to expand upon it as its previous releases had.

By 1990's Lock Up the Wolves, Ronnie James Dio was the only original member of Dio left in attendance as the band's lineup continued to fluctuate throughout the '90s on such releases as 1994's Strange Highways, 1996's Angry Machines, and 1998's Inferno: Last in Live (Ronnie James took a brief break from Dio in 1992 to rejoin Black Sabbath for a lone release, Dehumanizer). In 2000, a pair of Dio releases emerged; first was Dio's first new studio album in four years, the concept album Magica (which saw past members Bain and Goldy return to the group), as well as a 16-track compilation titled The Very Beast of Dio. His medieval-themed metal returned two years later, when the Killing the Dragon album arrived in the spring of 2002. The album was a serious endeavor, but Dio also learned to make fun of his image after years of defending it, inviting comedy duo Tenacious D to star in the video for "Push" and even including the clip on the fall re-release of Killing the Dragon.

In the mid-2000s Dio the man and the band returned with the studio album Master of the Moon and the live Evil or Divine, but by 2006 the band had been sidelined upon the announcement that Ronnie James would be joining Heaven & Hell, a group reuniting the singer with his late-era Sabbath brethren Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice and named after the first Sabbath recording (released in 1980) that featured him as frontman. Heaven & Hell toured in the late 2000s and released a live (Live from Radio City Music Hall) and a studio (Devil You Know) recording, but by November of 2009 it was announced that the singer was suffering from stomach cancer, and Heaven & Hell subsequently canceled their summer 2010 touring plans. Ronnie James Dio succumbed to the disease on May 16, 2010, in Houston, TX. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

One of my biggest regrets is that I never got to see him live. Rip Dio where ever you may be.
Should have kept Vivian on guitar s.
RIP Dio. He died too young:(
luckyheartz7 7
Please rest in peace. <3
Cool
craigcali200 8 7 4
meet him ones and he grow up in my home town and they have a street name dio
Well best heavy metal singer.
RJD. The Legend on the Silver Mountain!!!
He's the best rock singe r ever!
Simply the best hard rock front vocalist ever!!!
I like them the best of all metal bands!
NO ONE CAN REPLACE DIO !!!!
Dio duets with Geoff Tate on The Chase from Operation Mindcrime 2. Great live video shot at the Moore Theatre.
He was the man will always miss him
What a voice!
I still get shivers when I listen to Ronnie...wha t a voice! RIP
Their best song is the last in line
omegapaladin
Don't think of it as Dio dying, think of angels rocking out for eternity as his metal shakes the pearly gates!
It's hard to believe it's been a little more than 4 years since Ronnie past. It seems like yesterday we found out he had cancer. He was a humble yet wonderful talent.
RIP Ronnie :)
¥¥ double horns!
Why did you have to die god rest your soul Ronnie James dio
Sure am glad I took my video recorder in the last tour ronnie did
hbeard7773
RIP DIO
RIP RJD, there will never be another like you.
Very disappointin g that,Greg Prato didn't mention,Ronn i e ' s working with,Kerry Livgen and claiming Jesus as,his savior before death.
RIP Ronnie
Today is the 4 year anniversary of Ronnie James Dio's death - may he continually rest in peace and Rock On!
I have followed dio since he was with elf. The man was brilliant may he rest in peace ,t,antly you my friend are a moron!
I totally agree with Ninja...dude if you dont think RJD can sing,you need a fucken hearing aid.t.antly1 2 . . . y o u ' r e a total idiot!!!
t.antly12, you suck. I bet you like little girly music, you *******.
My 5 favorite bands of all time (not in any particular order):

Scorpions
Dio
Megadeth
Iron Maiden
Judas Priest

I could listen to these bands all day for the rest of my life.
He was , and always be a true Metal God
Rainbow Rising epic album
Best singer and song writer who ever lived, period. U can't name another artist that was even close to his skill. Hopefully we can one day see someone as great as Dio was.
peace out dio
nicko252008
DIO may be gone from earth, but his heavy metal Legacy will live on FOREVER!!!
jbyrne70
Love this man. Miss this man. R.I.P. Ronnie \m/ (*.*) \m/
Don't Talk To Strangers (Live), Hey sometimes don't talk to friends!! I so know so well...<><
Great! Another old, high pitch band. Get some vocal talent or stop producing music please!
God bless RONNIE JAMES DIO!!!! Simply put a f**kin metal legend !!!!
jobsforfelix
Evil One Eye Willie!
Don't read this because it actually works. If you post this on 46 stations in the next 19 hours your crush will kiss you and when he/she does you will live forever. If you don't do this, an undead army will come into your house and kill you. After doing this, hit yourself in the face because chain mail isn't real. Please support the anti-chain mail club and spread the word.
����
Dio bad a** so is Black Sabbath
Dio <3
I saw him in Hawaii 1986 with Vivian - Yngwie opened the show - Great Times were had!!
I,ve been to many of his shows, and being the frontman for Blackstar,Ma l l a r d , and Slammer , I enjoyed ,no loved covering his vocals, Last in line ,first in our memories ,r.I.p. ,DIO
He helped shape the musical palates of millions of metalheads from the 70s until now.
msilvermerli n
MISS THE VOICE & THE MAN :{
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