Grammy-winning country, pop and gospel singer B.J. Thomas died on Saturday, May 29 at his home in Arlington, Texas from complications due to stage four lung cancer. He was 78.
In March of 2021, Thomas announced he had stage four lung cancer. Thomas, who hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” from the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid soundtrack, received treatment in a Texas healthcare facility.
Thomas (born Billy Joe Thomas) released a statement through his representatives in March.
“I just wanted to take this unique opportunity to share my gratitude to Gloria, my wonderful wife and my rock for over 53 years, my family, friends, and fans,” Thomas said. “I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to record and perform beautiful songs in pop, country, and gospel music, and to share those wonderful songs and memories around the world with millions of you. I ask all of you for your prayers during this time and that my music can live on with you.”
The Oklahoma-born artist was raised in Houston, Texas and rose to fame with his 1966 cover of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”
Thomas would go on to record numerous classics, such as “I Just Can’t Help Believing,” “No Love at All,” “Rock and Roll Lullaby,” “Whatever Happened to Old Fashioned Love,” “New Looks From an Old Lover” and the hit singles “Hooked On a Feeling” (later recorded by Blue Swede) and “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” which was nominated for a CMA award for Song of the Year.
“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2014.
Thomas also recorded “As Long As We Got Each Other,” the theme song to the long-running sitcom Growing Pains.
In 2013, Thomas released The Living Room Sessions, which featured acoustic renditions of Thomas’ hits.
Funeral arrangements will remain private. In lieu of flowers, in-memoriam donations will be accepted by Mission Arlington, Tarrant Area Food Bank, and the SPCA of Texas.