No, Gene, you did not invent this.
  • No, Gene, you did not invent this.
Ronnie James Dio is to heavy metal what Luciano Pavarotti is to opera. Dio not only had one of the best—if not the best—sets of metal pipes, but everything about him was 100 percent, pure, unadulterated metal... I mean the guy probably ate wildebeest for breakfast.

I didn't even realize that Dio had been battling stomach cancer for the past six months. The sad news of Dio's passing at the age of 67 came yesterday in a statement from his wife Wendy:

"Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45 a.m., May 16th. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private goodbyes before he peacefully passed away. 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."

Dio took over as lead vocalist of Black Sabbath after Ozzy's departure in 1979, and sang for Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow before that. He also recorded a few albums in the '80s including The Last In Line and Holy Diver. I just remember you could see the word "Devil" in the logo if you flipped the record upside down, which to the delight of many got Tipper Gore's panties in a bunch.

Of course, he was probably best known as the inventor of the devil horns and just being a polite, decent, well-spoken guy... both of which are illustrated perfectly below. Stick around for the great Gene Simmons jab at the end. R.I.P., Ronnie.