Ronnie James Dio was born on July 10, 1942 and would have turned 71 years old today.

He passed away May 16, 2010 of stomach cancer.

Dio will always be highly respected as one of metal's greatest vocalists, as well as being given credit for pretty much elevating "throwing the metal horns" to a sacred gesture in every metalheads repertoire.

Of course, many people think that instantly raising the metal horns proves they're badass.

What at least some are oblivious to is that Ronnie borrowed this symbol from his Italian grandmother. :-D

Is it just me, though, or are the horns being overused a tad bit? (Translation: when the horns are waved around at country music and pop concerts, it might be time to retire them).

From an interview in metalrules.com:

"I doubt very much if I would be the first one who ever did that. That's like saying I invented the wheel, I'm sure someone did that at some other point. I think you'd have to say that I made it fashionable. I used it so much and all the time and it had become my trademark until the Britney Spears audience decided to do it as well. So it kind of lost its meaning with that....it's NOT the devil's sign like we're here with the devil. It's an Italian thing I got from my Grandmother called the "Malocchio". It's to ward off the Evil Eye or to give the Evil Eye, depending on which way you do it."

Rollingstone magazine eulogized Dio with the following: "It wasn't just his mighty pipes that made him Ronnie James Dio — it was his moral fervor...what always stood out was Dio's raging compassion for the lost rock & roll children in his audience. Dio never pretended to be one of the kids — he sang as an adult assuring us that we weren't alone in our suffering, and some day we might even be proud of conquering it"

R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio, where you are I'm sure there's no evil to ward off because there's no more evil. :-)