Heavy metal mourns James Dio

Ronnie James Dio, was an American heavy metal vocalist and songwriter and one of the most powerful singers in heavy metal, renowned for his consistently powerful voice and for popularizing the “devil’s horns” hand gesture in metal culture.

“Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away,” Wendy Dio, who also managed her husband, said in a statement.

“Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.”

She did not say where he died, but previous statements had said he was seeking treatment in Houston.

Dio disclosed last November that he had been diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer, and would immediately start treatment. Two months ago, he reported that the main tumor had shrunk considerably, and visits to his cancer clinic in Houston had been reduced.

But earlier this month, Heaven & Hell said it would cancel a planned summer tour of Europe because of Dio’s illness.

“Horns at half mast. Such a huge loss,” said Scott Ian, rhythm guitarist with metal group Anthrax, which toured with Dio’s band in 2004.

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