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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

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
hiphipjorge1
RJD FOR ETERNITY!!!! ! ! !
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 :{
Rip Ronnie :,(
I did get to see Ronnie in concert! I was VERY Fortunate! I have been to so many concerts in my life that they could not be counted, but I have always remembered this one concert, in Birmingham, Alabama, to be the BEST stage show that I've ever seen. It was Awesome. I have seen KISS 4 times, Motley Crue 4 times, and the last time they were together on tour. Of course I love both these bands, but these and all the others could Never match the ONE concert I saw of Ronnie James Dio! RIP Ronnie
R.I.P. Ronnie wish i had the chance to catch a live show : (
I got to see a show i'm not asure if it was halloween or or maybe april fools but it was a once only new years show in bostobn or at the worcester centrum but i think it was at the old boston garden ??? any help ? please+
The Dutch rapper
Love dio bad a**
Ronnie, I always enjoyed your great singing to a great backing band, the songs with your voice are as good as it gets. Beyond that, as great as it gets. I was always impressed most strongly, with your voice and passion. O.K., I was Frickin Blown Away by your vocals/Bands . I am glad I got to hear your amazing vocals/mater i a l while you were here. A privilege many will wish they would have had well into the future.
RIP Ronnie
<><
miss dio very much.he lasted while others faded away
pnabaker1
Drummer Vinnie Appice was a monster on these tracks!
ingridn64
For sure
Rest in peace, Ronnie, you are missed.
Rest in peace Dio.
Saw Ronnie James Dio front row center.
I Rock!
Dio was the s**t
Vivian Campbells guitar sound complimented Dios voice so well. Too bad they had a falling out and never reconciled before his death.
No rocker sh!t Metal Head u noobs
RIP Dio you will be the beast always!
The picture for the album master of the moon is a picture of a actual CD chilling on someone's keyboard
Ronnie James F'ing Dio brings the metal. RIP for a relentless front man!
Haha you act as if the rock n roll hall of fame is relevant?? It is a joke!!
if u miss dio then follow me
One does not simply stop listening to music
DIO is one of the classiest and epic metal singers of all time.
I miss Dio.
R.j.d had a rockin career
Rarely does such a monster voice come out of somebody so small in stature. He was a vocal giant!
The god of metal
I wish I could have seen him live. RIP
Legendary.. His music got me through some utterly tough times . R.J.Dio.
This song kicks from beginning to end. One of the greatest rock songs ever.
He was never redundant in his songwriting, always interesting.
He is the father of power metal.
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