The remarkable part about the 10 Most Important Moments in Dio History is how quickly Ronnie James Dio's legend was made, once he began focusing on rock.

In the above video, we trace Dio's history back to his birth in New Hampshire, then to his early years – when Dio's yearbook indicates his nickname was "Pigmy" – that included groups like the hilariously named Vegas Kings, which performed '50s-era doo-wop. All of that was simply a prelude to the seriously cool stuff that would follow, first with the blues-inflected Elf and then with the harder-rocking Rainbow, Black Sabbath, his band Dio and as a widely respected solo artist.

Incredibly, all of that great music – from Elf's debut and work with Ritchie Blackmore and Tony Iommi to his eponymous band's first album – happened within roughly a decade. Still to come was 1984's The Last in Line, perhaps the Dio band's best offering, as well as thrilling reunions with Black Sabbath. Unfortunately, after the last one, Dio would succumb to stomach cancer.

Here's a chance to relive these and other key elements from Ronnie James Dio's amazing story, as Ultimate Classic Rock counts down the 10 Most Important Moments in Dio History.

See Dio and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the '80s