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Monday, May 17, 2010

Ronnie James Dio dead


RJD popularized the "devil's horns" at concerts.

Ronnie James Dio, legendary vocalist for Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell and Dio, has died after a battle with stomach cancer, according to his wife, Wendy Dio. He was 67 years old.

The heavy metal singer died early this morning. He was being treated at M.D. Anderson in Houston.

A rumor circulated Saturday night on Twitter about Dio's death. His wife quickly shot that down: "He is not doing well, but he is not dead."

His wife released a statement to today:

"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."

Dio spoke just a month ago during an awards ceremony about dealing with chemotherapy and his prognosis:

"The grand wizard of classic rock" was born in New Hampshire and first burst onto the scene with the band Elf. Dio's last studio work as part of Heaven & Hell, The Devil You Know, was released in 2009. The band was scheduled to tour this summer but canceled all dates in early May.