B.J. Thomas, the Grammy-winning singer who loved success on the pop, nation and gospel charts with such hits as I Simply Cannot Assist Believing, Raindrops Preserve Fallin’ On My Head and Hooked on a Feeling, has died. He was 78.
Thomas, who introduced in March that he had been identified with lung most cancers, died from problems of the illness Saturday at his house in Arlington, Texas, an announcement launched by his representatives stated.
A Hugo, Okla., native who grew up in Houston, Billy Joe Thomas broke by in 1966 with a gospel-styled cowl of Hank Williams’s I am So Lonesome I May Cry and went on to promote tens of millions of information and have dozens of hits throughout genres. He reached No. 1 with pop, grownup modern and nation listeners in 1976 with (Hey Will not You Play) One other Someone Accomplished Someone Flawed Tune. The identical 12 months, his Residence The place I Belong grew to become one of many first gospel albums to be licensed platinum for promoting greater than 1 million copies.
His signature recording was Raindrops Preserve Fallin’ On My Head, a No. 1 pop hit and an Oscar winner for finest unique tune as a part of the soundtrack to one of many greatest motion pictures of 1969, the irreverent Western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Child.
Thomas wasn’t the primary option to carry out the whimsical ballad composed by Burt Bacharach and Hal David; Ray Stevens turned the songwriters down. However Thomas’s heat, soulful tenor match the tune’s easygoing temper, immortalized on movie throughout the scene when Butch (Paul Newman) exhibits off his new bicycle to Etta Place (Katharine Ross), the girlfriend of the Sundance Child (Robert Redford).
Raindrops has since been heard in every single place from The Simpsons to Forrest Gump and was voted into the Grammy Corridor of Fame in 2013. However, at first, not everybody was happy. Thomas was recovering from laryngitis whereas recording the soundtrack model and his vocals are raspier than for the observe launched by itself. Redford, in the meantime, doubted the tune even belonged in Butch Cassidy.
WATCH | Raindrops Preserve Fallin’ On My Head by B.J. Thomas
“When the movie was launched, I used to be extremely essential — how did the tune match with the movie? There was no rain,” Redford instructed USA At this time in 2019. “On the time, it appeared like a dumb concept. How incorrect I used to be.”
Thomas would later say the phenomenon of Raindrops exacerbated an habit to drugs and alcohol which dated again to his teenagers, when a report producer in Houston steered he take amphetamines to maintain his power up. He was touring and recording continuously and taking dozens of drugs a day. By 1976, whereas (Hey Will not You Play) One other Someone Accomplished Someone Flawed Tune was hitting No. 1, he felt like he was “#1,000.”
“I used to be on the backside with my addictions and my issues,” he stated in 2020 on The Debby Campbell Goodtime Present. He cited a “non secular awakening,” shared along with his spouse, Gloria Richardson, with serving to him to get clear.
Thomas had few pop hits after the mid-Seventies, however he continued to attain on the nation charts with such No. 1 songs as No matter Occurred to Outdated-Customary Love and New Appears from an Outdated Lover. Within the late Seventies and early ’80s, he was additionally a prime gospel and inspirational singer, profitable two Dove awards and 5 Grammys, together with a Grammy in 1979 for finest gospel efficiency for The Lord’s Prayer.
Followers of the Eighties sitcom Rising Pains heard him because the singer of the present’s theme tune. He additionally acted in a handful of films, together with Jory and Jake’s Nook and toured usually. Latest recordings included Dwelling Room Music, that includes cameos from Lyle Lovett, Vince Gill and Richard Marx. He had deliberate to report in 2020 in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, however the periods had been delayed due to the pandemic.
It’s with profound disappointment we verify the passing of BJ Thomas. <a href=”https://t.co/l2zrmtfmKw”>pic.twitter.com/l2zrmtfmKw</a>
Thomas married Richardson in 1968, and had three daughters: Paige, Nora and Erin. He and his spouse labored on the 1982 memoir In Tune: Discovering How Good Life Can Be. His e book Residence The place I Belong got here out in 1978 and was co-authored by Jerry B. Jenkins, later well-known for the million-selling Left Behind non secular novels written with Tim LaHaye.