Ronnie James Dio’s wife reveals that Holy Diver was written for Black Sabbath

Ronnie James Dio
(Image credit: Ann Summa/Getty Images)

The late Ronnie James Dio’s 1983 hit Holy Diver was originally written for Black Sabbath, says his wife Wendy Dio. 

Ronnie James Dio left Black Sabbath in 1982, and he released his legendary solo album Holy Diver in 1983. In a recent interview with Full Metal Jackie, his wife Wendy said that he had originally written both Holy Diver and Don’t Talk To Strangers while in Black Sabbath, and took them with him when he left.

"Ronnie always did what he wanted to do. He never listened to what the record label wanted or anyone else. He always stuck to his guns in making the album. He hoped it would be successful. None of us realised how successful it was going to be. We really had been toying around with things and he had written Holy Diver and Don’t Talk to Strangers during the time he was in Black Sabbath, so they were supposed to be Sabbath songs.

"When he left Sabbath, we had a solo deal for him and he just put those songs [on the album] and got the band together, wrote more songs and it came out. Everyone was blown away about the reception that we got and how great the album was and how it's stood [the test] of time. It'll be 40 years next year.”

The interview took place on what would have been Dio’s 80th birthday. During it, Wendy also discussed Stranger Things, as she gave a vintage denim Dio jacket to the show for Joe Quinn’s character to wear. 

“It's amazing. I think Ronnie would be so happy and so proud that all this time later there's new generations listening to and wearing his stuff. Before the pandemic, they asked me if they have permission to license the logo and they were going to buy some Dio stuff for the series.

“I said, 'I have vintage stuff, why don't I send you some?' They were very appreciative, but then I didn't hear anything for [a while] and I thought it must have been forgotten or not used. All of a sudden, the series is on and Eddie [Munson, one of the main characters] is wearing Ronnie's The Last In Line T-shirt on his denim jacket and I thought it was so amazing. I was so happy and I just wish Ronnie could have been here to know that. I'm sure there's a big smile on his face up in the sky.”

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