Born Ronald James Padavona, Ronnie James Dio (July 10, 1942 — May 16, 2010) was a Heavy Metal musician from New Hampshire. He was well known for his powerful singing voice and popularizing "the horns" hand gesture. He worked with Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and his own solo band Dio. Near the end of his life, he handled the vocal duties of a reunited Sabbath, under the name Heaven and Hell.
He unfortunately was diagnosed with stomach cancer in November 2009. He ascended into Rock & Roll Heaven on May 16th, 2010, at 7:45 AM after a long and hard battle.
- Holy Diver (1983)
- The Last in Line (1984)
- Sacred Heart (1985)
- Dream Evil (1987)
- Lock Up the Wolves (1990)
- Strange Highways (1994)
- Angry Machines (1996)
- Magica (2000)
- Killing the Dragon (2002)
- Master of the Moon (2005)
- Elf (1972)
- Carolina County Ball (1974)
- Trying to Burn the Sun (1975)
- Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow (1975)
- Rising (1976)
- Long Live Rock 'n' Roll (1978)
- Heaven and Hell (1980)
- The Mob Rules (1981)
- Dehumanizer (1992)
Heaven and Hell:
- The Devil You Know (2009)
- Dio at Domino's (1963)
- Metal Will Never Die (2010)note
Rainbow In The Tropes :
- Arc Symbol: Rainbows. They are mentioned a lot in his music and he was even in a band called Rainbow once.
- Awesome McCoolname: His last name means 'God' in Italian. If that ain't cool enough for you, it was also cool enough to influence one half of the name for Dio Brando.
- Berserk Button: Vivian Campbell, the ex-guitarist of his solo act. Observe. He starts ranting at about 45 seconds in. According to Vinnie Appice their mutual dislike stemmed from arguments over band business decisions that Viv disagreed with. Ronnie did later express some regret for his harsh words.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He was normally a pretty nice, calm guy... Until you pissed him off. See Berserk Button.
- Blues Rock: Before Dio joined Rainbow, Elf's music awesomely combined Hard Rock with R&B.
- The Cameo: Tenacious D appeared on the music video of "Push". He then appeared on Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny as himself.
- Careful with That Axe: The first ~30 seconds of The Last In Line are pretty gung-ho...then the real song starts.
- Catchphrase: The words "LOOK OUT!" show up in a lot of his songs.
- Cool Old Guy: He was 38 when he first sang for Black Sabbath and 67 when he toured for the last time. However, for many years, Dio lied about his age, saying he was born in 1949 instead of 1942.
- Cover Version: He and guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen made a cover of Aerosmith's "Dream On".
- He contributed vocals to Welcome to My Nightmare: An All-Star Salute to Alice Cooper, on the song "Welcome to My Nightmare".
- He also sang "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" on the We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year album..
- Egocentric Team Naming
- Everything's Better with Rainbows: There's always a mention of rainbows in his music.
- He WAS the vocalist of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow.
- Making that an example of Rainbows Are Better with Dio.
- Heavy Meta: While known mainly for writing fantasy-themed lyrics, people forget that he also wrote quite a few songs about The Power of Rock. "Stand Up And Shout" and "Rock And Roll Angel"note , for example. Plus, his final song was called "Metal Will Never Die" and is about the lasting appeal of the genre.
- Heavy Mithril: If not the Trope Makernote then certainly the Trope Codifier. Lyrics he wrote often carried fantasy elements such as magic and dragons. He was in a band called Elf, and the music video for Holy Diver features a sword-wielding Dio running through a spooky castle and fighting medieval dudes.
- Large Ham: Possibly the largest ham in metal, which is no mean feat.
- Subverted by God Himself, as Dio was 5'3" (159 cm) That's a lot of ham in a not-so-large frame.
- Mind Screw: He loved this trope, at least in the lyrics.
- The music video for The Last in Line makes less than no sense — it makes negative sense.
- Musical Theme Naming: Not himself, but his name was used for Dio Brando, who is considered a very influential villain in the development of manga.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse : Packed one of the most powerful voices in hard rock / metal history into a 5'3" frame.
- Rated M for Manly: And you thought that singing about dreams and rainbows was for sissies.
- Stage Names: Dio took his name from an Italian mafia member Johnny Dioguardi. For your information, dio is Italian for God.
- Start My Own: After he left Black Sabbath.
His solo career provides the examples of:
- Break-Up Song: "As Long as It's Not About Love" from Magica.
- Breather Episode: "This Is Your Life", a soft piano ballad on the otherwise very heavy Angry Machines album.
- Concept Album: Magica.
- Darker and Edgier: Strange Highways and Angry Machines have a heavier and more Doom Metal influenced sound than most of his other work, and feature Dio mostly abandoning his usual fantasy thematics for focusing on realistic issues like child abuse ("Give Her the Gun"), divorce ("Don't Tell the Kids"), and mental illness ("Institutional Man"). Dio's vocal style is also significantly harsher.
- Early Installment Weirdness: His doo-wop records from the early-'60s... Enough said.
- Epic Rocking: He has several songs 6 minutes or longer in length, including "Egypt (The Chains Are On)" (6:57), "Sacred Heart" (6:27), "All the Fools Sailed Away" (7:10), "Between Two Hearts" (6:30), "Lock Up the Wolves" (8:33), "Evil on Queen Street" (6:04), "My Eyes" (6:36), "Strange Highways" (6:54), "Stay Out of My Mind" (7:11), "Eriel" (7:25), "As Long as It's Not About Love" (6:28), "Rock & Roll" (6:11) and "The Eyes" (6:27).
- "I Am" Song: "I Am" from Master of the Moon. Also, "I" from Dehumanizer, contributing that page's quote.
- Instrumentals: "Magica Theme" from Magica and "Annica" from the limited edition of the album.
- Mascot: The demonic Murray, who is always giving the horns.
- Messianic Archetype: According to the man, "Holy Diver" is about one of these.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Mostly in the 6-7 range, the odd ballad aside (those are usually a bit lower). A few songs on Strange Highways and Angry Machines get up to an 8, such as "Jesus, Mary and the Holy Ghost".
- Motifs: Rainbows, magic, eyes and dreams.
- Nightmare Dreams: Dream Evil's title song and album artwork.
- Power Ballad: "All the Fools Sailed Away", "This is Your Life" and "As Long as It's Not About Love". "Don't Talk to Strangers" straddles the line, as it has the soft interwoven with the heavy.
- Revolving Door Band: His band underwent significant turnover through the years, with Dio himself being the only constant member. The Last in Line and Sacred Heart were the only two conseccutive albums by them that had the same lineup.
- Self-Backing Vocalist: Would make extensive use of this, as with a few exceptions virtually all of the backing vocals on his albums are done by him. This also applies to his work with Rainbow and Black Sabbath, along with the The Devil You Know album with Heaven and Hell.
- Song of Song Titles: "My Eyes", covering his tenures in Rainbow and Black Sabbath as well. The song name-drops "Fallen Off the Edge of the World", "Heaven and Hell", "Stargazer", and "Invisible".
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: "Another Lie" begins in G minor and modulates a whole step to A minor for the final verse. "Evil on Queen Street" does this twice, starting in D minor, going up a whole step to E minor in the bridge, and then up another half step to F minor for the final verse.
- Ur-Example: His work (solo and as a member of Rainbow and Black Sabbath) was a huge influence on Power Metal both musically and lyrically, and he's sometimes credited as inventing it, though it tends to differ from most later Power Metal due to being slower and a bit less technically flashy on average.
- Word Salad Lyrics: The man rocked hard. At the expense of his lyrics not making a lick of sense.Ride the tigerYou can see his stripes but you know he's cleanOh don't you see what I mean note
- The X of Y: Master of the Moon.