Dio started his career in a rock 'n' roll band named Elf. In Elf, he and other members of the band caught the attention of Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple fame. Blackmore, who was dissatisfied with Deep Purple, left to form Rainbow with Dio. Dio made his mark with Rainbow, but he decided to take on perhaps his greatest career challenge after that, when he decided to join Black Sabbath, as the replacement for the inimitable Ozzy Osbourne.
With Dio, Sabbath released Heaven and Hell to fan acclaim. Although the Ozzy line-up is considered the classic Sabbath lineup, to this day, there is significant demand for the Dio line-up. Even after Sabbath's much-lauded reunion with Ozzy, the Dio line-up was reconstituted in 2007 and toured successfully under the name Heaven and Hell.
Dio also enjoyed a successful solo career in the '80s and to a lesser degree in the '90s. He became a figure of ridicule to some degree, but after a time mocking references to him began to take a tone of underlying respect.
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