According to the US Authoritives, Dio's original name is Ronald James Padavona. He was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but was raised in Cortland, near Syracuse in New York State in the USA. Nowadays there is a street named after Ronnie James Dio in Cortland - the Dio Way, located between Central Avenue and East Court Street. The street was named on November 15th, 1988.
Ronnie James Dio's main interests already in his childhood were music and romantic fantasy literature, such as works of Sir Walter Scott and the Arthurian legend. He has also always liked science fiction literature, as well as sports - that is probably because his father played softball at some local team when Ronnie was a child and the whole family always went to watch the games.
Dio's birthday is July 10th, but the year is unknown - as he himself says, the age is not important, the only thing that matters is the music. Unfortunately, the press has always been curious and sceptical about Dio's age, just like about his height.
Before forming his first band in 1957 - Ronnie And The Red Caps (they went under names The Vegas Kings and Ronnie & The Rumblers before choosing their final name) - Dio had played both trumpet and bass. His father bought him a trumpet when he was a child and Dio played it until he started to play bass later on. Ronnie himself credits his voice to that trumpet, he says that without the breath excercises with trumpet he wouldn't have his voice.
Dio supposedly quit his studies around 1957 or 1958 for a musical career - some sources say that he studied pharmacy and got a degree from it. Ronnie And The Red Caps released two singles before changing their name to Ronnie Dio And The Prophets.
This band lasted for several years until it split up in the Autumn of 1967, when Ronnie James Dio and their guitarist left it to form a band called The Electric Elves. The band existed from late 1967 until mid 1969, when its name was changed to The Elves. They were under that name for about a year, when they all were involved in a car accident.
After recovering from the accident, Ronnie James Dio and two of his former bandmates continued in a new band called Elf. This happened in mid or late 1970. Elf lasted over four years and ended in February, 1975. There were some line-up changes in the band, but its name remained the same until they formed Rainbow with Deep Purple's guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. The band faced several line-up changes before Ronnie James Dio left it in November 1978.
When Ronnie James Dio left Rainbow in late 1978, he started to consider solo career. However, he was invited to replace Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath in May 1979.
Ronnie remained in Black Sabbath for a couple of years, until he left them along with their drummer in October 1982, in order to form his own band Dio. Dio lasted until early 1991, when Ronnie surprisingly rejoined Black Sabbath. The reunited Black Sabbath made one album and a world tour before Ronnie reformed Dio again in late 1992.
Ronnie died on May 16th, 2010.
This page is maintained by Tapio Keihänen,
The page has been updated on 09.07.2010
Biography URL: http://www.dio.net/biography/, the front page http://www.dio.net/.