In 1957, Dio's music career started with a group named, The Vegas Kings. Being on Bass with the group and being, The Vegas Kings, the name changed three times with the same line-up (exception of Musci) to "Ronnie and The Rumblers" and "Ronnie and The Redcaps" in 1958. The groups first single was "Conquest"/"Lover" with the A-side being instrumental and the B-side having DeWolfe on lead vocals. The second was "An Angel Is Missing"/"What'd I Say", Ronnie James Dio on lead vocals for both songs.
Once again the name has changed to, Ronnie Dio and The Prophets" in the 1960s. Now getting his name out there, he did performances across New York and college frats. Being labled on Atlantic Records, only Ronnie Dio was on the record and not The Prophets. This line-up lasted till 1967 when The Prophets officially went out of the name and changed to Elf in 1968 until 1972 after producing one album under their name Elf. They became more popular as a group when they showcased for the 70s Hard Rock group Deep Purple. After showcasing for them for quite many performaces, Elf created three albums before they turned into Rainbow in 1975 after disbanding as Elf.
Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple and formed with Dio in Rainbow (known at the time then, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow). After producing their first L.P album in just three weeks, Blackmore recruited some members from Elf to then produce two more studio albums ("Rising" and "Long Live Rock n' Roll") under just the name Rainbow along with one live album and two archival live albums.
Rainbow started to have conflict as Blackmore wanted a more commercial direction with the music to have Graham Bonnet on vocals for their upcoming album, Down To Earth, thus resulting in a split between Dio and Blackmore in 1979.
After departing from Rainbow, Dio was invited to play for Black Sabbath after Ozzy Osbourne was fired. On just the first day after meeting Black Sabbath, the group wrote a song called, "Children of The Sea" which appeared on the album, Heaven and Hell. The next album Live Evil was under scrutiny of the band as sound engineering of the album was worked on all day to have Dio work on it at night changing what was done. Vinny Appice (Who joined in when their original drummer was let go) sided with Dio and left Lommi and Butler in 1982.
Shortly after leaving Black Sabbath, Dio and Appice formed, DIO with Bain and Campbell. Creating their first album that year called, Holy Diver, two songs became a huge hit being, "Rainbow In The Dark" and "Holy Diver". Adding a keyboardist to the group for two more albums later on, The Last In Line and Sacred Heart with a live recording, A Special From The Spectrum.
After some consistant changes in line-up, Dio was the only original member left in 1990, but they always created albums throughout the changes such as Intermission, Dream Evil, Lock Up The Wolves, Strange Highways, Magica, Killing The Dragon and Master of The Moon.
2006 when Black Sabbath and Dio then combined to create the group, Heaven and Hell, as it was the first album in the Dio era of Black Sabbath. With Lommi, Appice, Butler and Dio, the original members (Bill Ward didn't join in for the reunion) of the Black Sabbath Dio era created one album The Devil You Know and produced three new songs and placed them under the Black Sabbath name. There was going to be more lead up songs and albums starting in 2010.
In 2009, Dio was diagnosed with stomach cancer and underwent treatment. On May 4, 2010, Heaven and Hell announced they would cancel all future tour dates for the sake of Ronnie Dio's health. 6 days later, May 10, Dio sadly passed away at the age of 67 from cancer. A memorial service was taken place in Los Angeles with band members from his career with Elf, Rainbow and Dio with Heaven and Hell along with having a public memorial.
Brought onto Earth: July 10, 1942
Passage to Heaven: May 10, 2010
Awards, Memorials, Recognitions
Dio was inducted into the Cortland City Hall of Fame in 2004, and has a street named after him there called Dio Way.
Classic Rock Magazine awarded Dio the "Metal Guru Award" at their yearly "Roll of Honour" awards ceremony in 2006.
January 17, 2007, Dio was inducted into Guitar Center's Rock Walk of Fame in Hollywood.
"Best Metal Singer" at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in 2010
Bloodstock Open Air is also named after him in tribute after Heaven & Hell pulled out upon his death. The main stage on Masters of Rock festival carried his name since 2010.
Tribute statue of him in Bulgaria
On July 10, New York holds a day-long event featuring many central New York local bands for a benefit to the Stand Up and Shout Cancer foundation for cancer research and Dio Memorial concert. Part of proceeds at the event go to fund a memorial music scholarship for local high-schools in his name.
In 2014, a tribute album Ronnie James Dio This Is Your Life was created. It was organized and produced by Wendy Gaxiola. Profits benefitting the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Foundation and Fund.
On August 6, 2016, a hologram of Dio was created by Eyellusion, made its debut at Wacken Open Air Festival. A second hologram was created for a subsequent world tour on December 6, 2017 in Germany.
On January 18, 2017, Dio was inducted into the Hall of Heavy Metal History
Ronnie James Dio Quote-
"This is your here, this is your now, let it be magical."
Author Notes: R.I.P God of Metal