Heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio passed away Sunday morning, according to a message left by his wife and manager, Wendy Dio, on his website.
"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," Wendy wrote.
Dio worked in several bands throughout his prolific metal career, including Rainbow, replacing Ozzy Osborne as the lead singer of Black Sabbath and the band Dio. He is also known as the person responsible for make the devil horns hand sign a permanent fixture in metal.
Dio (the band) is probably best known for its song "Holy Diver," part of which Jack Black sang in the 2006 Tenacious D movie "Pick of Destiny."
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Although an official cause of death was not announced, Dio had said last summer that he was suffering from stomach cancer, according to the Los Angeles Times obituary.
From the Associated Press report, "Many of his most memorable songs revolved around the struggle between good and evil, including his signature tune 'Heaven And Hell.' He also drew heavily on medieval imagery in songs like 'Neon Knights,' 'Killing The Dragon' and 'Stargazer.'"
Links are provided to read more about the life and death of one of the greatest metal singers of all time, Ronnie James Dio.