Five-time Grammy award winner and Grammy Hall of Fame, B.J.Thomas, died yesterday at his home in Arlington, Texas at age 78.
His death was confirmed on his official Facebook page and was attributed to complications from lung cancer.
A versatile songwriter, Thomas’s career spanned country, pop and gospel, earning him CMA, Dove and Grammy awards. He sold more than 70 million albums worldwide, scored eight No. 1 hits, and had 26 Top 10 singles over his 50 years in the music business.
His hits included a cover of the Hank Williams song “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” the Grammy winning “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” and the monster hit, “Hooked On A Feeling.”
Thomas was also named one of Billboard’s Top 50 Most-Played Artists Over The Past 50 Years. Other hits by the artist included “I Just Can’t Help Believing,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Whatever Happened To Old Fashioned Love,” and “New Looks From An Old Lover.”
His signature recording was Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head, a number one pop hit and an Oscar winner for the best original song as part of the soundtrack to one of the biggest movies of 1969, the irreverent western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Born in rural Hugo, Oklahoma as Billy Joe Thomas, he moved to Houston, Texas with his family and began singing in church as a child.
Raindrops has since been heard everywhere from The Simpsons to Forrest Gump and was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2013. But, at first, not everyone was satisfied.
BJ was recovering from laryngitis while recording the soundtrack version and his vocals are raspier than for the track released on its own. Redford, meanwhile, doubted the song even belonged in Butch Cassidy.
In the late 1970s and early ’80s, he was also a top gospel and inspirational singer, winning two Dove awards and five Grammys, including a Grammy in 1979 for best gospel performance for The Lord’s Prayer.
BJ married Richardson in 1968 and had three daughters: Paige, Nora, and Erin. He and his wife worked on the 1982 memoir In Tune: Finding How Good Life Can Be as reported by HuffPost.