Ronnie James Dio's Height
5ft 3in (160 cm)
American Singer, associated with Elf, Rainbow and Black Sabbath.
Photo by Pr Photos
Add a Comment 56 comments
Average Guess (3 Votes)
5ft 2.83in (159.6cm)
RisingForce said on 30/Mar/17
I wasn't surprised at how short Ronnie was because I always knew that, but I was really surprised at just how thin he was up close in 2007 and especially the last time I saw him in August 2009. Made sense in hindsight unfortunately. Many powerful singers were very short. Among some others who stood out in person are Ronnie's Rainbow album with JLT at 5'5" tops, maybe slightly more peak and Doogie White at 5'6" tops, maybe shorter. Bruce Dickinson also seemed 5'5" max. It goes on and on and on... ;) Ronnie's peak was likely somewhere between 5'2" and 5'3" without the big heels and he did seem to shrink a bit, but great talent and a great man. R.I.P.
Sandy Cowell said on 13/Oct/16
Ronnie was fronting Black Sabbath when I saw them. ( The following day I saw Ozzie's Blizzard of Oz!)
I knew Mr Dio was small, but this small? It strikes me as funny, albeit interesting, when a great booming voice comes bellowing out of a little person!
bigommans said on 22/Oct/14
I agree with this. Next to Jack Black he is clearly a few inches shorter
RisingForce said on 26/Jul/14
It's possible Dio was never a full 5'3" because the big heels and in the Rainbow days, huge platform shoes made it difficult to tell, but I think he was probably about 5'3" when he was younger, though under it in the 2000s. 5'2.5" to 5'3" is a fair guess. As for Geezer, he didn't look a full 5'7" to me, more between 5'6" and 5'7".
diavolo said on 24/Jul/14
On one of the Sabbath band photos Dio had to stand on a ledge to be in eye-level with the rest of the band (which included 5'7" Geezer Butler). And he always wore pretty big heels. I think Dio was closer to 5'2". Tiny man with a huge voice.
said on 6/May/14
Rob, how much height is Jack Black losing with his stance at 0:47? Click Here
[Editor Rob: possibly 2 inches with that stance]
RisingForce said on 2/May/14
The more I think about it, he actually could have been closer to 5'3" than 5'4" even with the boots, though being a big fan, I wasn't so focused on his height. Everyone has always known Dio was short so what I remember being more surprised by was how thin he had gotten. But depending on the size of the boots he could have dropped below 5'2" during the 2000s, but looking at some 80's videos, he definitely looked taller back then, though his heels were so big back then they seemed like mini-stilts. The Rainbow days wouldn't tell you much because of the huge platform shoes he wore in those days. He was an amazing talent, though and a very nice guy.
RisingForce said on 1/May/14
Thanks, Rob, 5'3" is a pretty good guess for peak, definitely not over it since he looked near 5'4" in shoes like the ones above, but could have lost a little height by the time I met him. Here's one of the 5'4" claims he made over the years.
“Though my first idea of performing was to play sports - A Sort of unrealistic goal for a guy who topped out at 5 foot 4 inches and 130 pounds.”
I'll try to find the 5'4.5"-5'5" claim, I'm 95% sure he claimed that in '92, I think on Headbangers Ball, but I could be wrong.
achello said on 12/Nov/12
comeon dude, 152 cm? do you know how small is that? 163 cm is already very very very small
linda said on 13/Jan/12
whatever his height does not matter,he was a very talented good hearted man.thats what really matters.
Mathew said on 27/Aug/11
I'm going with 5'3.75" with Glenn.
love said on 19/Aug/11
height has nothing to do with their immense talent .....it's no worth talking height!
voiceless dental fricative said on 3/Jun/11
Based on that photo with glenn, Dio was probably 5'2 or thereabouts.
I remember seeing an interview with his wife just after he died, and I think she said he was 5'3.
FreedomFries said on 5/May/11
just came across your useless site Glenn, no offense.. since when height matters? well yes under 5'4 and he's a great singer, look at Bono, Bruce Dickinson and many more, since when you need to be tall to be a great singer Glenn?! you're what 5'8 (you look shorter though ;) and what did you do with that? did your daddy told you you aren't tall enough?! taller people control shorter people? shorter people are here to remind tall ones that they're tall actually, if everyone had the same height wouldn't be funny right? you need short people to feel better about yourself and remind you that you're taller or tall, so be considerate towards short ones, you need them more then you think.. funny enough I'm quite tall or normal, 6'3 and everything is in the 3 inch, so proud of it, lol, but am I normal? normal to whom? compared to whom? such things doesn't exist, the word normal shouldn't be used in this context, for the reason that there isn't normal height, we're the way we are, that's it..unfortunately we cannot choose our height or color, therefore this is discrimination and racism against short people. why am I saying all this since I'm 6'3 you might think, well, I've seen so many men and women suffering from their height, too short or too tall, because of people like the one present here on this site and their stupid comments, not all of them though, some show 'normal' thinking..anyways thats about it really, people that judge by the appearance make me vomit like nazis (oops sorry hitler was a short man), because your behavior is not better then them, they killed because of appearance & weird ideologies. thanks for reading, sorry if you feel insulted but i did when i read your comments, because if you let someone insult a short human, you insult every human beings on earth, what matters is your heart, have a great day and God bless America..
richp16 said on 6/Feb/11
I met Ronnie back in 67 or 68 with Ronnie Dio and the Prophets. They performed at my Uncle's club, in Rome,NY, called "Where The Action Is". It was a teenage club and Ronnie played bass and did lead vocals. They blew everyone away. Then around 70 - 71 they were the Electric Elves, and then the evolution to Elf, then Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, then he went to Sabbath and then on to "Dio". What a tremendous voice and a great bass player.
Anonymous said on 5/Jan/11
A strong 5'4 I'd say, from the pic at the top, I'd say Geezer Butler is 5'7.5 and Tony Iommi a strong 6'. Geezer always claimed 5'11, he looked taller when younger. Rob, is it possible he had knee surgery and that made him smaller?
guyfrommars said on 2/Jan/11
5ft4 was his "official" height, and he was very height conscious. I guess his real barefoot height was closer to 5ft2. He never went anywhere without heels. In the "glam" days of the '70s he frequently wore huge 5 or 6-inch platforms on stage. In later days, his footwear varied between 2 and 3-inch heeled boots. I guess he was 5ft4 in those.
glenn said on 15/Oct/07
so do i middle cat.but thats a whole other complex world.i despise that too,but thats a touchy matter there.to only know 3 of his songs doesnt help either.but thanks for understanding.your a admirable gent too.
Middle-sized Cat said on 15/Oct/07
Glenn - Quite right too. Most people don't pay attention to lyrics, which is often just as well! Thanks again. You're a gentleman.
Anonymous - No offence taken. I think you meant 'Assinine', though. That actually means 'donkey-like', and, being a man, am quite happy with it. :) Seriously, though, absolute honesty is called for here: I've only heard 3 Danzig songs - Mother (once), She Rides (once), and Metallica's cover of, er, "I got somethin' to say - I got my ass kicked yesterday..." Or something. You may be right - he may be a good singer - I simply have an aversion to him because he's said by many to have hit women, and even a girl of 16. Now, you don't get a rep. for that out of thin air, and he's never sued a journalist for saying he kicked a girl at a (London) show. So this has nothing to do with music. Simply, I detest men who hit girls.
glenn said on 13/Oct/07
middle sized cat-thanks for understanding.some here on the site get to touchy when i dissect music.i dont pay attention to lyrics much.i dont care for that type,but i dont pay attention to his veiws either.i never really noticed.goes to show how i dont pay attention.i mainly pick out guitar and bass parts to enjoy in songs.
glenn said on 13/Oct/07
thanks anonymous.i greatly appreciate firstname.lastname@example.org looking foward to that and of course anything else in the future.take your time of course.your doing me a solid.
Anonymous said on 12/Oct/07
You got it all wrong. Danzig had one of the most powerful and YES...BEAUTIFUL voice of all time. I will make that statement. What he was able to do with his voice from 1987-1995 was just out of this world. There were signs of his greatness as far back as 1977, when he released the song American Nightmare, but by 1990 he really learned how to use his pipes in a sophisticated way.
As for Ian Astubury, WELL, Ian began to sound like DANZING by 1994 and NOT the other way around. The Cult's self-titled album from 1994 was an Ian who did have a similar like tone as Danzig. Whether that was done intentionally is unknown, BUT, to make a claim that you can't tell them apart and to go so far as to say that danzig is talentless is ASSENINE and just goes to show how you really don't have a good ear for music (no offense).
Anonymous said on 12/Oct/07
Alright Glenn I dug up the bootleg..I think it is Craig on guitar 10/3/05 I believe I will rip the cd and send it to you by email. I think your email is on your page here. I have plenty of other great bootlegs...Zakk Wyldes Ozzy audition tape, the first DIO concert, the first rainbow concert, Quiet Riot reunion 1980 with Rhoads ect. I will send more eventually.
Middle-sized Cat said on 12/Oct/07
Hi Glenn. You are the voice of reason! I respect a man who can criticise without flaming. It's the fact that Dio still sings well at his age that I wanted to emphasise. My problem about Danzig is his lyrical stance on women, which I find objectionable and weak-minded. He sings like Ian Astbury - I honestly can't tell 'em apart! - but Astbury's lyrics don't get me annoyed. Dio sings like Dio alone - even the old Paul Rodgers comparison doesn't seem that valid. Thanks again, though - I always listen to polite criticism like yours.
glenn said on 9/Oct/07
danzig isnt talentless.you have a right to think dio is better.i love both.dio more of course.you have a right to say what you want,but danzig talentless is a fact in your world.not reality.he is a legend as well that had many great songs with 3 great groups,as almost like dio.samhain november coming fire is up there with any metal classic,as with the obvious misfits walk among us.
Middle-sized Cat said on 9/Oct/07
I disagree. My right. And I'm sticking to it. End of matter. Dio may be small, but that's all he's got in common with talentless Danzig. Fact.
glenn said on 8/Oct/07
thanks anonymous.i would greatly appreciate it.
Danimal said on 8/Oct/07
No, it's just the beginning.
Middle-sized Cat said on 8/Oct/07
Have just heard a new H & H bootleg, and Dio's voice is as good as ever. End of matter.
Anonymous said on 7/Oct/07
Alright Glenn I have to dig it up though. I have hundreds.
Danimal said on 5/Oct/07
Don't Talk to Strangers, It's Too Late, Give Her The Gun, Falling Off the Edge of the World, This is Your Life, are some of his BEST ballads (light/shade) from Sabbath through his solo career.
AshnarLynx said on 5/Oct/07
My favorite Dio ballad is "Don't Talk to Strangers", from his solo work at least.
glenn said on 5/Oct/07
anonymous-ill gladly take a copy please.danimal-if you can burn something that would be cool too.i dont have much in the bootleg form.tons of vinyl and imports only.
Danimal said on 4/Oct/07
Anonymous, I have literally dozens of bootleg concerts of Ronnie (dating back to the early 60's actually)..
Compare Ronnie's reunion with Sabbath from 1992 to his 2007 one. It's not a comparison. He still is amazing though! Ever since his first 1957 recording up until now.
Anonymous said on 4/Oct/07
He was sick when Holy Diver Live was recorded. I have bootlegs from earlier that tour beforeGoldy had to leave the tour. I'll be happy to send anyone a copy. The story was Ronnie had to go off stage and drink tea during Doug's solo and Simon's solo. He was much better earlier that tour. Again I will send anyone a copy of the bootleg I have. The new Heaven And Hell DVD is much better too. I was lucky enough to be at that show.
Danimal said on 3/Oct/07
The thing is, something happened to his voice since 2004-2005. Up until 2004, he was able to still go high and be very melodic. Since 2005 he struggles to no end. I am quite sure he has developed nodes on his vocal chords in the last 2-3 years and not just age. Anyone want to see what this man was capable of in terms of beauty, buy his 1977 Rainbow concert from Munich. If you want to see BRUTAL power, intensity, range and melody all combined, buy Dio: Live at Last from his Angry Machines Tour (1996-1998). If you want to hear a destroyed voice, listen to his late 2005 concert in London, called Holy Diver Live. It's sad how much he strggles their and how much he knows it. Even if you listen to his spoken voice, you can tell it is very hoarse, tired and nasal and it comes across when he sings. Kind of like late Danzig (post-1998).
Anonymous said on 3/Oct/07
Last DIO ballad was As Long As It's Not About Love. One of my favorite ballads ever and one of Ronnie's all time greatest vocal performances. It is on Magica. The 3 new songs he did for the DIO years Sabbath cd are great too.
Middle-sized Cat said on 3/Oct/07
Just heard the new live Heaven & Hell stuff, and I agree with Anon. - considering RJD is older than his former bandmates, his voice is incredible. I take the point that it's less melodic than before, but that's the nature of the material he's singing. Last album's ballad saw him as melodic as ever, as did '99's Love Is All with Purple.
Daniel said on 2/Oct/07
Well, we finally have Ronny's page here! Thank you, Rob! And yes, the man seems to be a little shorter than the 5'4'' claimed, as Glenn says, but it's reasonable to think he has lost 1 or 2 inches, cause he's well over 60 years old by now. And he looks very skinny too, as Danimal said. All these things apart, he is a fantastic singer, from the Elf era (I haven't listened to earlier recordings) to his solo albums of the 80's. From 90's and 00's I don't know, since I find these times not interesting for hard rock productions and I don't listen very much to rock music made from 1990 on. Am I missing something valuable?
glenn said on 2/Oct/07
geezer butler is 5-6.possible about peter criss danimal.
Anonymous said on 2/Oct/07
You are being very tough on Ronnie's voice. It is a lot deeper and a little less powerful but those are the only things I can think of that are true. Ronnie's voice was the worst it's been on the 2003 tour.
Da Man said on 2/Oct/07
He sounded fairly decent in the Pick of Destiny.
Danimal said on 1/Oct/07
Buddy, he is NO 58 years old. It has been proven that he graduated from H.S. in 1960, putting him at 65 years old and he is REALLY begining to look it and his voice HAS changed since the late 90's and even more so in the last 2-3 years. It has deepened tremendously and has developed a tired, less melodic, more hoarse and nasal quality to it and the power has been cut in half since the 1990's and I am a HUGE Dio fan.
Anonymous said on 1/Oct/07
I met Ronnie this year. He was sitting down so I couldn't tell how tall he was but when he walked by Geezer he looked 3 inches shorter. How tall is Geezer? Ronnie's voice is still amazing I've seen him twice this year and he really hasn't lost much. Amazing considering he is a metal singer between 58 and 65 years old. Ronnie is very short though which is why average height band members like Rowan Robertson(5'10") appear to be well over 6 feet. Hell Doug Aldrich looks tall next to him and he probably is only 5'9". I have such respct for Ronnie that I'll believe his 5'4" and I'll also consider his birth claim of 1949 even though there is evidence that suggests otherwise for both claims.
Danimal said on 30/Sep/07
And Glenn, Peter Criss is in his 60's. He may very well have been 5'9" 35 years ago.
Middle-sized Cat said on 30/Sep/07
Dio, with only Gillan as credible colleague, is the best rock singer ever. One listen to Rainbow's live album - or any of the live archive albums featuring him - tell you that. Coverdale is brilliant, but Dio eclipsed him on Mistreated, hitting every note with power AND feeling. When we discovered he was under 5'4", we were amazed. When we discovered that he is older than your Blackmores and Pages - closer to John Mayall's age, apparently - we were even more amazed. The guy still has the vocal ability he had on Rising! My admiration for Ronnie Dio is considerable. And, unlike that moron Danzig, he has not let his lack of height create stupid conflict.
glenn said on 30/Sep/07
eric singer is about 5-5.peter criss i remembered at 5-6 when i met him in 1992,but i was way wrong when i saw him 2 months ago.he looked a shocking 5-7,maybe even 5-8 in converse..
glenn said on 30/Sep/07
dio is more to the front in huge heels.always in huge heels.so how is that 5-5? in heels maybe.
Danimal said on 29/Sep/07
What he really lost is A LOT of weight. In his Elf days he appeared chubby. In his Rainbow days, the same and even into his early solo career, but in the last few years he looks like a walking 65 year old skeleton. It is clear that he is losing more and more weight right along with his deepening voice.
AshnarLynx said on 29/Sep/07
5'4 is the height given for him at most sites. 163 cm. He's as tall as my mother!:P That reminds me...that Eric Singer from Kiss and Black Sabbath, he looked pretty short. I remember a photo with him and the rest of Sabbath members and he looked like a child next to them! You could see he was trying to look taller.:P
Franco said on 29/Sep/07
btw i need to specify something......he used to be in the 162-163cm range in the past but not today, today he lost at least 2cm and it shows.
so in the past 163cm and today is 160-161cm.
AshnarLynx said on 29/Sep/07
On the bottom pic Glenn.
Dunken said on 29/Sep/07
Franco said on 28/Sep/07
he's definetely short, to me he looks 160-161cm
glenn said on 28/Sep/07
AshnarLynx said on 27/Sep/07
On that pic he looks more like 5'5-5'6.