Raindrops Are Falling: Music Legend B.J. Thomas Has Died

Country, Christian, classic pop, and multi Grammy award-winning singer and performer B.J. Thomas has passed away. The 78-year-old died of lung Cancer on Saturday, May 29th at his home in Arlington, Texas. Thomas had announced the diagnosis in late March, and had been battling the disease.

Originally from Hugo, Oklahoma, and rising to prominence while living in Houston, Texas, B.J. Thomas is known and beloved for iconic songs such as his #1 country hit “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” “Whatever Happened to Old-Fashioned Love,” and his signature song, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” featured in the movie Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid. His career spanned some 50 years.

Selling over 70 million albums worldwide with a total of eight #1 all-genre hits and 26 Top 10’s, the five-time Grammy winner and Grammy Hall of Famer scored multiple hits in country from the late 60’s into the 80’s. “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” was nominated for the CMA Song of the Year in 1975. Written by Larry Butler and Chips Moman, the song also has the distinction of being the longest-titled #1 song in Billboard history. B.J.’s country album Reunions is considered by many to be his landmark country contribution to the genre.

Though Tomas spent large shares of his career recording pop, contemporary, and Christian music, country was always his compass point. His first ever single in 1966 was a cover of “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by Hank Williams, which scored him a #8 hit on the pop charts.

But to many, B.J. Thomas is known for legendary songs from the popular music canon such as “Hooked on a Feeling” from 1968, and “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” from 1970 written by Burt Bacharach. Along with B.J.’s success in the 70s came issues with substance abuse, but this also opened up a new realm for his music. After his wife Gloria became a born-again Christian, she brought B.J. back from the brink, and he recorded the Gospel album Home Where I Belong in 1976, which became the first Gospel record to sell one million copies.

B.J.’s success in the mid 70’s led to him to transitioning to mostly country music by the late 70’s, heading into the 80’s. This is when he recorded hits such as “Whatever Happened to Old Fashioned Love,” “New Looks from an Old Lover Again,” “The Whole World’s in Love When You’re Lonely” and “Two Car Garage.” In 1981 on his 39th birthday, B.J. Thomas became an official member of the Grand Ole Opry.

“All I am is just another guy. I’ve been very lucky,” B.J. Thomas says in a note on his website. “I’ve had a wonderful life, I’ve been a husband and a father who cherishes his children and now I’m a grandfather, and I’m motivated like all these teachers and preachers and mothers and fathers to help my kids grow up with character and self-respect. I hope that doesn’t sound too grandiose, but that’s what it comes down to. It’s what I’ve tried to do with my music and with the majority of my life.”

Funeral services will remain private. In lieu of flowers, in memoriam donations will be accepted by Mission ArlingtonTarrant Area Food Bank, and the SPCA of Texas.

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