Ronnie James Dio passes away

After a struggle with cancer, Ronnie James Dio passed away at 7:45am on the 16th of May.

At 7:45am, Sunday, May 16 widely respected and legendary vocalist Ronnie James Dio (born Ronald James Padavona) passed away, losing his battle with stomach cancer. Wendy Dio, his wife and manager issued this statement at his official website:

"Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am on Sunday the 16th of 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."

Dio's career spanned an epic five decades, being frontman for Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Heaven and Hell as well as his own band Dio. He is also widely credited for popularizing the use of "devil horns" as a trademark gesture.

He will be sorely missed.