B.J. Thomas, who was a Grammy award-winning, country, pop, and gospel singer, passed away on May 29, 2021, at his home in Arlington, Texas. He died of lung cancer in March at the age of 78.
The singer's management team conveyed the news of his passing on his Twitter account. Though optimistic, he had been treated in a Texas facility and so far, was showing no signs of improvement.
"I just wanted to take this unique opportunity to share my gratitude to Gloria, my wonderful wife and my rock for over 53 years, my family, friends, and fans," he wrote at the time per USA Today's report.
"I'm so blessed to have had the opportunity to record and perform beautiful songs in pop, country, and gospel music, and to share those wonderful songs and memories around the world with millions of you. I ask all of you for your prayers during this time and that my music can live on with you," he added.
Several musicians posted statements on social media mourning the passing of their colleague. Dionne Warwick, who collaborated with Thomas, gospel musician Steven Curtis Chapman, and Burt Bacharach who co-wrote "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head."
According to Charisma News, Thomas had described his former self by saying, "I was at the bottom with my addictions and my problems," on "The Debby Campbell Goodtime Show" in 2020.
When his wife Gloria became a born-again Christian, Thomas had a spiritual awakening and became a Christian himself in 1976. He started recording songs through which he expressed his beliefs. Having given up all his previous vices, including narcotics, he signed with Myrrh Records and released the album "Home Where I Belong "in 1976. The album turned out to be a Grammy and Dove Award-winning project which sold over a million copies and was the first gospel album to achieve that milestone.
While he retired from the Christian music industry, he has continued to play in church venues up to his most recent appearance in 2019.
A Brief Look Back On His Legacy
While Thomas had a long and prolific career, he was notably prominent in the 1960s and '70s. He earned five Grammy Awards and was admitted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The sales figures show that globally, he had sold more than 70 million records, including eight No. 1 songs and countless top 10 songs on the country, pop, and Christian music charts.
When he was younger, Thomas sang in churches in his native Oklahoma, and later on he began performing in Houston. In addition to penning hit songs such as "I Just Can't Help Believing," "Don't Worry Baby," and "What Ever Happened to Old Fashioned Love," he had a songwriting portfolio that featured other top songs such as his 1968 song "Hooked on a Feeling" which sold over two million copies.
In 1976, Thomas published the album "Home Where I Belong" under Myrrh Records, which became the first gospel record to sell a million copies. To further demonstrate the lengths to which he goes for others, while portraying the TV series "Growing Pains," his vocal performance for the show's theme song "As Long as We've Got Each Other" was used in commercials and advertisements.
Thomas marked the occasion of his six decades in the music business with the publication of an acoustic CD in 2013 titled "The Living Room Sessions." On the CD, duets were performed with musicians like Richard Marx, Sara Niemietz, Lyle Lovett, and gospel singer Vince Gill.
Thomas has acted in the films "Jory" and "Jake's Corner." He wrote two novels, the first of which was his autobiography, "Home Where I Belong."
The singer passed away after having worked for many years as a famous and successful singer/songwriter. He is survived by his wife Gloria Jean Thomas (formerly Gloria Richardson), as well as their daughters Paige Thomas, Nora Cloud, and Erin Moore; and grandchildren Nadia Cloud, Keira Cloud, Ruby Moore, and Billy Joe Moore.