Black Sabbath's Ronnie James Dio Dies at 67

Credit: Larry Marano/Getty Images

Hard-rocking singer Ronnie James Dio passed away on Sunday at the age of 67.

The former singer for Black Sabbath -- who fronted the band briefly after Ozzy Osbourne's 1980 exit -- had been struggling with stomach cancer, and had undergone seven rounds of chemotherapy.

His wife and manager Wendy Dio confirmed the sad news on his website, noting that "many, many friends and family were able to say their private goodbyes before he peacefully passed away...Ronnie knew how much has was loved by all."'

Dio had admitted it was a challenge replacing the enormously popular Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath. "Ozzy especially had some real staunch fans, and for someone else to come into Sabbath, God, that was sacrilegious," he said.

He was known for his wailing vocals and for the "devil's horns" gesture that has become a heavy-metal trademark.

In March, Dio vowed to beat his disease."Cancer? I'll kick the hell out of you...I refuse to be beaten in any shape or form so I'm going to beat you, too."