Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Heavy Metal Pioneer Ronnie James Dio Dead At 67

Heavy metal pioneer Ronnie James Dio has lost his battle with stomach cancer at the age of 67. Dio's career in music actually started back in 1957, and spanned into this century. But Dio was best known for his contributions as a vocalist and song writer for dark themed heavy metal acts such as Black Sabbath, Rainbow and Dio.

Although standing only five foot four inches tall, Dio was something of a giant figure in the heavy metal scene and popularized the devil salute hand gesture used among some dark themed acts. The gesture was actually used by some superstitious Italians to ward off "the evil eye". Dio's Italian grandmother used the sign, and Dio thought it looked cool to use as a stage gimmick, so it became his trademark.

One of Dio's biggest breaks was taking over as lead singer for Black Sabbath, although purists loved Ozzy Osbourne's vocals and found the change difficult to adjust to. But the album HEAVEN AND HELL was highly successful and brought back the band's popularity from some less successful later albums.

Although Dio sought to harvest a dark stage image, his family was actively involved in a charity that rescued children from sexual abuse at the hands of pimps.

Whether Hell was missing a demon, or Heaven was missing an angel was sometimes a little hard to ascertain from the life of this late great heavy metal vocalist.


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