Ronnie James Dio, born as Ronald James Padavona (July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010), was an American singer, songwriter, and musician. He fronted and/or founded numerous groups including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven & Hell.
He was born in 1942 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the USA in an Italian American family. His childhood musical influence were opera singers, particularly an American tenor Mario Lanza, he was also learning to play a trumpet as a child. He was playing in a school’s band and he started his first rock’n’roll band called the Vegas Kings. He sang in a couple of bands, one of them called Elf became the support for Deep Purple and this is how he met Ritchie Blackmore, the guitarist of the latter who meanwhile left the band and started his own. He personally chose Ronnie James Dio to be the singer of what was to become Rainbow, the most important reason was his wide range and the power of voice. Ronnie participated in recording of three band’s albums not only by singing but also by writing lyrics. He left the band in 1979 to replace Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath but did not stay there for long and formed his own band Dio. With this band he recorded his most memorable songs ‘Holy Diver’ and ‘Rainbow in the Dark’. He shortly returned to Black Sabbath in 1992 and in 1997 he formed a band called Heaven&Hell with the Black Sabbath members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler to tour and play the songs by Black Sabbath which were recorded with him. He also participated in a number of other projects.
In 2009 he was diagnosed with stomach cancer and after treatment initially he seemed to recover, he even came back on stage. However, the illness returned in 2010 and he died on May, 16th.
It’s useless to enumerate how many musicians he inspired, he is widely considered to be one of the classic. His most significant feature has always been his voice, even though he claimed he had never taken any specific vocal training and instead he attributed his vocal technique to the use of correct breathing which he learned during his trumpet lessons. He was acknowledged in many ways, my most favourite is his monument in Kavarna in Bulgaria, also Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund was created in his memory to gather funds for the fight with cancer.