Taking the surname of mafia gangster Johnny Dio, Ronnie James Dio (real name Ronnie James Padavona) became a star of the 1970s heavy metal scene, fronting a host of bands including Elf, Rainbow and briefly replacing Ozzy Osbourne in rock legends Black Sabbath. Forming Dio with Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice in 1982, Ronnie's huge, howling voice turned the band into cult heroes of the hard rock world, with early singles Rainbow In The Dark and The Last In Line becoming popular MTV hits and reaching the US Top 20. Debut album Holy Driver (1983) became regarded by critics as a landmark of the genre, acclaimed for its sci-fi and fantasy themes and old-fashioned good versus evil storytelling; but it was their second record The Last In Line (1984) that proved most successful, reaching Number 4 in the UK charts. Follow-ups Sacred Heart (1985) and Dream Evil (1987) also fared well in the UK, but the band's popularity began to dwindle throughout the 1990s. Buoyed by actor Jack Black paying homage to the band with his comedy act Tenacious D, the lads successfully re-emerged in 2000 playing at hard rock festivals across the world until Ronnie's death from stomach cancer in 2010.

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Stations Featuring Dio

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