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Ronnie James Dio 1942-2010

Classic Rock's tribute to Ronnie James Dio on his death in 2010

The man whose mighty voice lit up the music of Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven And Hell was truly a unique talent: a vocalist of immense power, expression and innate melodic flair, an elegant lyricist, and a storyteller of rich imagination. There is magic in the words and voice of Ronnie James Dio.

Music was central to his life from an early age. Although he never received any formal vocal training, as a child he mastered French horn and trumpet, to which he later attributed the breathing control pivotal to his singing power. He played bass guitar in his first professional group, the Vegas Kings, a rockabilly outfit formed in 1957 and based in New York State. But it didn’t take him long to answer his true calling. By the end of 1958, he was lead singer of a new-look band, Ronnie & The Red Caps, later renamed Ronnie Dio & The Prophets after Ronnie had adopted a stage name appropriated from mobster Johnny Dio.

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