Grammy Winner B.J. Thomas Dies At 78
Grammy winner B.J. Thomas, best known for songs like “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” and “Hooked on a Feeling,” died Saturday at this home in Arlington, Texas. He was 78.
According to his rep, Thomas died from complications of stage four lung cancer.
Born Billy Joe Thomas in Oklahoma, he grew up in Houston, where he sang in church and joined a band called the Triumphs.
In 1966, Thomas recorded a cover of the Hank Williams song “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” which was a Top 10 pop hit. He followed-up with the even more successful “Hooked on a Feeling.”
Thomas had his greatest success with “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” a song he recorded for the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid soundtrack. It went to No. 1 in the U.S. and Canada and earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Male. The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2014.
His 1975 single “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” earned songwriters Larry Butler and Chips Moman a Grammy for Best Country Song.
Thomas won his first Grammy Award after he kicked a drug habit and shifted his focus to Christian music. He won Best Inspirational Performance in 1977 (“Home Where I Belong”), 1978 (“Happy Man”), 1979 (“You Gave Me Love When Nobody Gave Me A Prayer”) and 1981 (“Amazing Grace”). He also won a Grammy in 1980 for Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary of Inspirational (“The Lord’s Prayer”).
Thomas also sang “As Long As We Got Each Other,” the theme to Growing Pains, which ran from 1985 to 1992.
Thomas is survived by his wife of 53 years, Gloria, and their daughters Paige, Nora and Erin as well as four grandchildren.