Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ronnie James Dio, 1942-2010

Publication: New York Times blog
Date: 16 May 2010

Ronnie James Dio, lead singer with the bands Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio, has died of stomach cancer at the age of 67.

Dio's career in rock started in 1957 at the age of 15, but his really big break came when he replaced Ozzy Osbourne as the lead singer of Black Sabbath in 1979. The photo above is from 1980, when Dio was already in his late thirties. He is credited with popularizing the horns hand gesture in heavy metal, which he took from his Italian heritage where it is the sign of the cuckold, a man whose wife was cheating on him, and was confused with devil's horns by the heavy metal audience obsessed with Satanic images.

His illness was first announced late last year. The U.S. tabloids show only minimal interest in old rock stars, so it's questionable if this should be considered a scoop, but a well known individual has died without a peep from the Only Ten Magazines That Matter, so I bring it up here.