08:39 17 May 2010
Singer Ronnie James Dio, who came garnered international recognition in the heavy metal music industry after replacing Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath, has died at the age of 67.
Dio's wife and manager confirmed the passing. He had been suffering from stomach cancer.
Dio's wife Wendy paid a loving tribute to her husband on his website, saying: "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.
Before joining Black Sabbath in 1980, Dio also contributed vocals for the band Rainbow (which was formed when Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple) during the mid-1970s. He also sang in in Heaven & Hell and his own self-titled band Dio.
During his final days battling the illness, Dio was being treated at a hospital in Houston, Texas.
Dio revealed that he was suffering from stomach cancer just after finishing a US tour last summer.
He was born Ronald James Padavona to an Italian-American family in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, before changing his name after reportedly being inspired by a gangster named Johnny Dio.
Dio's solo hits included 'Rainbow In The Dark'and 'Holy Diver'.
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