dio01While most of the internet already knows about this, Ronnie James Dio has been diagnosed with stomach cancer. A statement was released last week on Dio’s Web site.

“Ronnie has been diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer. We are starting treatment immediately at the Mayo Clinic. After he kills this dragon, Ronnie will be back on stage, where he belongs, doing what he loves best, performing for his fans.

Thanks to all the friends and fans around the world that have sent well wishes. This has really helped to keep his spirit up.

Long Live Rock and Roll, Long Live Ronnie James Dio”

Dio had cancelled a European tour earlier on due to “illness,” and now we, unfortunately know what that illness was. Three Facebook support groups have already sprung up, with the largest being the Ronnie James Dio Cancer Support Group, which has about 30,000 members already. The only silver lining to this admittely bummer of a story is that the release says his cancer is in the early stages. We saw the 67 year-old Dio earlier this year with Heaven and Hell, and he still remains one of the best frontmen out there. He can still sing better than men 1/3rd his age, and if anyone will be able to come out on the other side of cancer, it’s him. Check out Dio singing “Rainbow in the Dark” from 1986 after the jump – pretty amazing to think that his solo career didn’t start until he was in his ’40s.