Top 10 American Metal Musicians of Italian Descent


The Top Ten

1 Ronnie James Dio - Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio Ronnie James Dio - Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio Ronnie James Dio (born Ronald James Padavona; July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010) was an American heavy metal singer, songwriter and musician. He fronted and/or founded numerous groups including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven & Hell. He is credited with popularizing the "metal horns" hand gesture more.

Born Ronald James Padavona
His stage name - Dio - is the Italian word for God - Metal_Treasure

2 Mike Mangini - Dream Theater, Annihilator Mike Mangini - Dream Theater, Annihilator Mike Mangini is an American drummer. Since 2010, he has been a member of progressive metal band Dream Theater, following the departure of founding drummer Mike Portnoy.

Wiki article about him says nothing about his origin but his family name sounded very Italian to me.
Because I wasn't sure, I did a small research and found this on the internet:
Mangini Family Crest, Coat Of Arms and Name History.
So, I was right - Mangini family name comes from a noble family in Tuscany, Italy.

Here's the most amazing part:
"The surname Mangini is a name for a person who was equally adept and skilled in the use of both hands".
It's derived from the Italian word 'mancino', which means one who is ambidextrous.

WOW, Mike Mangini is one of the ambidextrous drummers! - Metal_Treasure

3 John Petrucci - Dream Theater John Petrucci - Dream Theater John Peter Petrucci is an American guitarist, composer and producer. He is best known as a founding member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater. Compared to his level of skill, John Petrucci is relatively unknown in the modern music industry.

Again, Wiki article about him doesn't mention anything about his ancestry but Petrucci sounds very Italian. It sounds like Bellucci and Monica Bellucci is Italian for sure. - Metal_Treasure

Petrucci, yes. Very itallian. John Myung is Korean as well... Just gonna throw that in there. - IronSabbathPriest

4 Mike Portnoy - Dream Theater Mike Portnoy - Dream Theater Michael Portnoy is an American drummer primarily known as the former drummer, backing vocalist, and a co-founder of the progressive metal/rock band Dream Theater. Known for his technical skill as a drummer, Portnoy has won 30 awards from the Modern Drummer magazine.

He's on the Wiki list of Italian-American entertainers / musicians, so I guess it's true.

Yes, you're right - 3 people from Dream Theater! Keep reading, you'll see 3 people from Anthrax, too.
LOL, I knew these bands were founded by the Italian Mafia :-) - Metal_Treasure

5 Phil Anselmo - Pantera, Down Phil Anselmo - Pantera, Down Philip Hansen "Phil" Anselmo is an American musician who is best known as the former lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Pantera. He currently is the vocalist of heavy metal bands Down and Superjoint Ritual.

Philip Hansen Anselmo - he is of Danish, Italian and French heritage.
I guess the Italian part is Anselmo.
Hansen is Germanic, so this is the Danish part.
Philip could be anything but can be French, too. - Metal_Treasure

6 Joey Belladonna - Anthrax Joey Belladonna - Anthrax Joey Belladonna is the American Thrash Metal singer, best known for leading the band Anthrax. He also sings and drums for the cover band Chief Big Way.

Born Joseph Bellardini.
Belladonna is part Italian American and part Native American (from modern-day Canada) on his mother's side (who is Iroquois). - Metal_Treasure

7 Charlie Benante - Anthrax
8 Frank Bello - Anthrax Frank Bello - Anthrax

Born Frank Joey Bello - bass guitar - Metal_Treasure

9 Vinny Appice - Dio, Black Sabbath Vinny Appice -  Dio, Black Sabbath Vincent Paul "Vinny" Appice, is an American rock drummer and the younger brother of drummer Carmine Appice. V 1 Comment
10 Ralph Santolla - Obituary, Deicide, Death, Iced Earth

Ralph is very proud of his Italian heritage and he plays guitars by Jackson and Ibanez with the Italian flag painted on them.
Bands - Obituary, Iced Earth, Death, Deicide, Memorain, Sebastian Bach. - Metal_Treasure

The Contenders

11 Glenn Danzig - Danzig Glenn Danzig - Danzig

Born Glenn Allen Anzalone in New Jersey, to a family of Italian, German, and Scottish heritage.
Songs - Mother, How the gods kill, Black hell - Metal_Treasure

12 Greg Puciato - The Dillinger Escape Plan, Killer Be Killed
13 Joey DeMaio - Manowar Joey DeMaio - Manowar Joey DeMaio is an American bass player and main songwriter for the heavy metal band Manowar which he founded in 1980. He is also the founder and CEO of Magic Circle Music.

Bassist, main songwriter and one of the founding members of Manowar. - Metal_Treasure

14 Nikki Sixx - Mötley Crüe Nikki Sixx - Mötley Crüe Nikki Sixx is an American musician, songwriter, radio host, and photographer, best known as the co-founder, bassist, and primary songwriter of the band Mötley Crüe.
15 Max Cavalera Max Cavalera Massimiliano Antonio "Max" Cavalera is a Brazillian singer, guitarist, and songwriter who currently plays in heavy metal bands Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, and Killer Be Killed.

Sepultura, Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, Nailbomb

Not American. - Aragorn98

16 Igor Cavalera Igor Cavalera Igor Graziano Cavalera is a Brazilian musician. He is best known as the former drummer for Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura, which he co-founded with his brother Max in 1984. Max left the band in 1996, and Cavalera himself would depart ten years later, making him the last original member of Sepultura more.

Sepultura, Cavalera Conspiracy

Not American. - Aragorn98

17 Porco Dio
18 Lemmy Kilmister Lemmy Kilmister Ian Fraser Kilmister, known as Lemmy, was an English musician, singer and songwriter who founded and fronted the rock band Motörhead. He was a bassist and a singer known for his raspy voice. He died in 2015 from cancer and other health problems.

Not American. - Aragorn98

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List Stats

18 listings
2 years, 273 days old

Top Remixes

1. Ronnie James Dio - Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio
2. Mike Mangini - Dream Theater, Annihilator
3. John Petrucci - Dream Theater


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