More bad news today – according to the Washington Post, Ronnie James Dio passed away Sunday. Dio had been undergoing treatment for stomach cancer. He was 67.
You don’t need me to tell you Dio’s story. Dio replaced Ozzy as the frontman for Black Sabbath and was part of some of Sabbath’s best work (“Heaven & Hell” is my personal Sabbath favorite). I don’t want to get into an “Ozzy vs. Dio” diatribe here, but I always preferred Dio to Ozzy; Dio had a more operatic singing style. Ozzy was a good singer, but Dio was in another league.
It’s easy to make fun of some of Dio’s lyrics – I, too, have rolled my eyes at Dio songs like “Sacred Heart” and “Rock ‘n Roll Children” … but Dio was a great performer and was metal’s best ambassador.
Dio’s last work, with Heaven & Hell, showed that age hadn’t dulled his skills as a vocalist. The band had planned to continue touring after Dio underwent treatment, but had to cancel when Dio’s condition apparently worsened.
While this doesn’t hit me nearly as hard as the recent death of Type O Negative frontman Peter Steele, I do admit this news makes me blue. We’ve lost another giant too soon.
Here’s Dio and the band performing “Bible Black” last year. Enjoy. R.I.P., Ronnie.