Grammy-winning singer dead at 78 from lung cancer – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-05-30 12:09:12 –

Grammy Award-winning singer BJ Thomas, who has been successful on pop, country and gospel charts with hits such as “I Just Can’t Help Believing,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’On My Head,” and “Hooked on a Feeling.” .. Died. He was 78 years old.

Thomas, who announced he was diagnosed with lung cancer in March, died of a complication of the disease at his home in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, his spokeswoman Jeremy Westby said in a statement.

Born in Hugo, Oklahoma and raised in Houston, Billy Joe Thomas made a big break in 1966 with a gospel-style cover of Hank Williams’ I’m So Lonesome I Kud Cry, and then hundreds. He sold 10,000 records and dozens of records. A hit song that transcends genres. He ranked first among pop, adult contemporary and country listeners in 1976 with “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song”. That same year, his “Home Where I Belong” became one of the first gospel albums to sell over a million copies.

Dionne Warwick, duet with Thomas, tweeted in condolences on Saturday.

“I would like to express my condolences to the family of one of my favorite duet partners, BJ Thomas. I miss him because many others know so. Friend, peacefully Please sleep, “she said.

Thomas’s masterpiece is “Raindrops Keep Fallin”, number one as part of the soundtrack to one of 1969’s biggest films, the indomitable western drama “Butch Cassidy.” Won the Pop Hit and Academy Award for Best Original Song. Sundance Kid. Thomas was not the first candidate to play a whimsical ballad composed by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Ray Stevens turned down the songwriter. But his warm, soulful tenor fits in with the laid-back atmosphere of the song, with Butch (Paul Newman) being Sundance Kid’s (Robert Redford) girlfriend Etta Place (Catherine Catherine). It became a timeless masterpiece in the scene of showing off a new bicycle to Ross).

Since then, “Raindrops” has been heard everywhere from “The Simpsons” to “Forrest Gump” and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2013. But not everyone was happy at first. Thomas is recovering from laryngitis during the recording of the soundtrack version, and his vocals are more jarring than the tracks released alone. Redford, meanwhile, even suspected that the song belonged to “Butch Cassidy.”

“I was very critical when the movie was released. How did the song fit into the movie? It didn’t rain,” Redford told USA Today in 2019. How wrong I was. “

Thomas later stated that when a Houston record producer proposed taking amphetamines to maintain energy, the phenomenon of “raindrops” exacerbated his teenage pill and alcohol addiction. I will. He was constantly touring and recording, taking dozens of pills a day. By 1976, “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” won first place, while he felt like “1,000th place”.

At the 2020 Debbie Campbell Goodtime Show, he said, “I was at the bottom of my addiction and problems.” He cited the “spiritual awakening” he shared with his wife Gloria Richardson. Helped him get clean.

There have been few pop hits since the mid-1970s, but he continued to hit the country charts with hits such as “Whatever Happened to Old-Fashioned Love” and “New Look from an Old Lover.” From the late 1970s to the early 80s, he was also a leading gospel and inspirational singer, winning two Dove Awards and five Grammy Awards.

Fans of the 1980s sitcom “Growth Pain” heard that he was the singer of the show’s theme song. He has also appeared in several films such as “Jolly” and “Jakes Corner” and toured frequently. Recent recordings include “Living Room Music” with cameos by Lyle Lovett, Vince Gill and Richard Marx. He planned to record at Muscle Shoals, Alabama in 2020, but the session was delayed due to a pandemic.

Thomas married Richardson in 1968 and had three daughters, Page, Nora, and Erin. He and his wife worked on the 1982 memoir “In Tune: Finding How Good Life Can Be.” His book “Home Where I Belong” was published in 1978, co-authored with Jerry B. Jenkins, and is famous for becoming a million seller in the religious novel “Left Behind” later written by Tim LaHaye.

Besides music, Thomas has been fond of baseball since he was a kid, and many of his Little League teammates were named Billie Joe, so he started calling himself BJ. By the time he was a teenager, he sang in church and joined the local rock band Triumphs. He enjoyed his parents’ favorite country performers such as Ernest Tubb and Hank Williams, but he himself listened to soul and rhythm and blues singers on the radio and on stage, especially the hit ballads. Inspired by Jackie Wilson on “To Be”. “Beloved” Thomas was later covered and adopted as a kind of guide to his life.

“I grew up quite dysfunctional and had years of severe alcoholism and drug addiction, so this song has always been a touchstone for me. Open my heart to drugs and alcohol while I was so young. Then you have to face the rest of your life, “he told Huffington Post in 2014.

“The obstacles, broken hearts, and failures that these addictions have brought to me. But I had that little lightning bolt from that song. That’s the essence of the whole. Loved and loved. And achieve it. Will take a lifetime. It has always been an important part of my emotions. “

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