RIP Ronnie James Dio

[Via Insty] Legendary hard rock/heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio (of Black Sabbath, Rainbow, and of course Dio fame) lost his fight with cancer today. He will be sorely missed, including by your blog host.

The tiny singer with the huge voice got formal training on French horn and trumpet, and was offered a scholarship at Juilliard, which he declined as he got too interested in rock music. While proficient on several other instruments, he claimed never to have had formal vocal training, but credited his operatic voice to the breathing technique which he had to develop for the French horn. He may not have been the most famous heavy metal vocalist, but technically he stood head and shoulders above the crowd. And of course he “invented” (rather: re-purposed) the one gesture most associated with metal fans.

Below are two Dio videos, one with Black Sabbath, the other with his solo act.

Black Sabbath: “Heaven and Hell”

Ronnie James Dio: “Rainbow in the Dark”

May his memory be blessed.

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