Ronnie James DioHeavy metal legend Ronnie James Dio died early Sunday after a battle with stomach cancer. He was 67.

Dio's wife, Wendy, broke the news today on Ronnie's official website.

"Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May," she wrote. "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's cancer was first announced last November. He was expected to take part in this summer's Heaven & Hell tour, which was subsequently canceled in May due to his health.

After stints with bands like Elf (formerly the Electric Elves), Dio was recruited by Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore to form Rainbow in 1975. Dio left the band in 1979 and quickly joined Black Sabbath as a replacement for Ozzy Ozbourne. Dio's first album with Black Sabbath was the iconic 'Heaven & Hell,' released in 1980.