According to a statement on his official website, heavy metal god Ronnie James Dio — who fronted Black Sabbath after Ozzy Osbourne’s departure in 1979, then went on to found his own eponymous band — has died at the (reported) age of 67. In the statement, wife and manager Wendy Dio wrote, “Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes 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 was battling stomach cancer diagnosed last fall, and cancelled this summer’s tour with his current band, Heaven & Hell, due to his deteriorating health.