June 13, 2021

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The singer of

The singer of

BJ Thomas, the singer who hit the pop, country and gospel charts with hits like “I Just Can’t Help Believing,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin ‘On My Head” and “Hooked on a Feeling,” He has died, he was 78 years old.

Thomas, who announced in March that he had lung cancer, died Saturday of complications from the disease at his home in Arlington, Texas, according to a statement from his publicist, Jeremy Westby.

Billy Joe Thomas, born in Hugo, Oklahoma, rose to fame in 1966 with a gospel-style version of the Hank Williams song “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and went on to sell millions of records and have dozens of hits on it. different genres. In 1976 he reached number one for pop and country fans with “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.” The same year, his album “Home Where I Belong” became one of the first gospel albums that certified more than a million copies sold, earning him a platinum record.

His most iconic recording was “Raindrops Keep Fallin ‘On My Head,” a pop hit and Oscar winner for best original song, on the soundtrack of the irreverent 1969 western “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

Thomas married Gloria Richardson in 1968 and they had three daughters: Paige, Nora, and Erin.

In addition to music, Thomas loved basketball as a kid, and he got called BJ because there were so many teammates named Billy Joe on his kids’ team. By the time he was a teenager he was singing in church and had joined a local rock band, the Triumphs, with whom he was in his twenties. He liked Ernest Tubbs, Hank Williams, and other country artists his parents liked, although he was also inspired by the soul and rhythm and blues singers he listened to on the radio or saw on stage, especially Jackie Wilson, whose Ballad “To Be Loved” later turned Thomas into a vital guide.

“I grew up in a very dysfunctional situation and went through years of intense alcoholism and drug addiction, so the song was always an anchor for me. When you open up to drugs and alcohol so young, it becomes something you have to deal with for the rest of your life, ”he told the Huffington Post in 2014.

“How many blocks and pain and times of failure these addictions have caused me. But he had that flash of light with that song. That is the basis of everything. Love and be loved. And achieving it takes a life. It has always been an important part of my emotions ”.