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Music / Ronnie James Dio

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Gaze into the eyes of your new god. Because even dead gods dream.

"Because Dio taught me, in part, what it is to be a man. Oh, he did not teach the rational lessons: He did not teach me morality, or responsibility, or restraint. No, Stanley, he taught me that being a man means sometimes ruining things in the most extravagant fashion possible. Because you can, and because it's awesome."

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)

Black Sabbath:

  • Heaven and Hell (1980)
  • The Mob Rules (1981)
  • Dehumanizer (1992)

Heaven and Hell:

  • The Devil You Know (2009)



Ronnie James Dio provides examples of:

  • Arc Symbol: Rainbows. They are mentioned a lot in his music and he was even in a band called Rainbow once.
  • "Awesome McCool" Name: 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 Rhythm and Blues.
  • 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.
  • Catch-Phrase: 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.
  • Heavy Mithril: 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 5'4" (1.62m.) 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 5'4" 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.
  • Concept Album: Magica.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: His doo-wop records from the early-'60s... Enough said.
  • Epic Rocking: "Egypt (The Chains Are On)", "All the Fools Sailed Away", "Lock Up the Wolves", "Strange Highways", "Stay Out of My Mind" and "Eriel".
  • "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.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Mostly in the 6-7 range, the odd ballad aside (those are usually a bit lower).
  • 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".
  • Song of Song Titles: "My Eyes", covering his tenures in Rainbow and Black Sabbath as well.
  • 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 tiger
    You can see his stripes but you know he's clean
    Oh don't you see what I mean note 
  • The X of Y: Master of the Moon.

Alternative Title(s): Dio


Example of: