Born Ronald James Padavona on July 10th 1942, Ronnie was an American heavy metal singer. He was born in Portsmouth, NH but his parents soon after moved back to their home town of Cortland, NY. This is were Dio grew up and graduated from Cortland High School in 1960. Dio fronted a number of groups such as Rainbow, Heaven & Hell, Dio, and took over Black Sabbath when Ozzy Osbourne left. He was credited for creating the metal horns hand gesture. Dio took trumpet lessons from an early age and said he never took vocal lessons, but credited his vocal power to the breathing technique he learned on the trumpet.
His music is still played on the radio today, popular songs include, Rainbow in the Dark, Holy Diver, and Lady Evil. Dio had that powerful versatile vocal range that all the heavy metal bands sought after. Dio married Loretta Berardi and they adopted a son, novelist Dan Padavona who has had a successful horror line of books. Dio divorced and remarried Wendy Gaxioal who also served as his manager. He remained married to Wendy till his death in 2010 of stomach cancer. Dio’s career spanned over fifty years and his vocal power may never be matched. At age 67 he was the oldest person to win the award of Best Metal Singer at the golden gods awards in April 2010. Dio is embedded in rock history and just 30 miles south of where I live I can walk on the street named after him, Dio Way. His powerhouse voice is missed but will never be forgotten.
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