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Letters | Wednesday, 19 May 2010 Issue. 164

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Ronnie James Dio – the king’s voice is dead

Fans of 1970s and 80s rock are perhaps a bit more sober today when they learn that one of the greatest rock vocalists of all time is no longer with us. Ronnie James Dio died on Monday aged 67 after a long battle with cancer.
Dio will forever be immortalized for his career with former Deep Purple stalwart Ritchie Blackmore’s ‘Rainbow’, on which he was lead vocalist for a number of albums such as ‘Kill The King’ and ‘Long Live Rock and Roll’.
After that experience, which catapulted him to fame in the late 1970s he joined Black Sabbath replacing Ozzy Osbourne after the much publicized split with the band where he recorded two studio albums (both produced by Iron Maiden producer Martin Birch) ‘Mob Rules’, ‘Heaven and Hell’ and the mammoth two disc album ‘Live Evil’ which remains one of his most forceful and impressive vocal performances.
Dio quit Black Sabbath in 1982, and went solo together with drummer Vinnie Appice. They released a number of albums such as “Intermission” which were well received although Dio was considered to have shot his bolt at that stage.
He was later involved in various other projects amongst which was a reunion with former Black Sabbath members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler for a world tour which took place in 2008.
Ronnie James Dio had a vocal range which was powerfully impressive, punching far above his weight and will fondly be remembered by those rock enthusiasts who still remember those nostalgic years of the 70s and 80s with joy.





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