B.J. Thomas died at 78 on May 29, and his fellow recording artists are paying tribute.
The five time Grammy award winner and Grammy Hall of Fame inductee died at his Arlington, Texas home on Saturday of stage four lung cancer complications.
From the breakout of his career in the 1960s, Thomas’ career spanned gospel, country and pop, selling over 70 million albums worldwide.
He is one of Billboard’s Top 50 Most Played Artists Over The Past 50 Years with hits like “Hooked On A Feeling”, “I Just Can’t Help Believing” and “Don’t Worry Baby”.
Other iconic songs include his cover of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and his Oscar winning “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head”.
“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” was first featured in “Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid” but has since appeared in many films including “Spider-Man 2” and “Forrest Gump”.
However, Thomas “was most proud of his family.”
He is survived by his wife of 53 years Gloria, their daughters, Paige Thomas, Nora Cloud and Erin Moore and four grandkids Nadia Cloud, Keira Cloud, Ruby Moore and Billy Joe Moore.
In lieu of flowers, in-memoriam donations will be accepted by Mission Arlington, Tarrant Area Food Bank, and the SPCA of Texas.
Following news of his death, numerous musical artists paid tribute.
“One of the signs of true greatness in any of the arts is instant recognition of the creator. When you heard B.J. Thomas sing there was never a doubt who it was. RIP. Gone too soon but I will always know that voice,” said KISS star Paul Stanley.
“My sincere condolences to the family of one of my favourite duet partners, B.J. Thomas. I will miss him as I know so many others will as well. Rest In Peace my friend,” said Dionne Warwick.
“So sad to hear of B.J. Thomas’ passing today. I was in touch with him three weeks ago and he seemed ready to fight his diagnosis. He was a kind and elegant gentleman and I will miss him, and his amazing voice. My love to his family,” said singer Richard Marx.
“While we were working in Las Vegas, and B.J. was opening for us, we spent almost every night in each other’s room. We both had Texas roots, similar beliefs, and we loved finding and playing new songs to each other. The first time we met, we both talked over each other. It was just crazy. We had so much to say to each other that we were almost talking at the same time and it just became funny to both of us. We had so much fun together, getting to know each other in such a short time. Every time I saw him, we just picked up where we left off. I guess it will be that way in Heaven,” said Duane Allen of The Oak Ridge Boys
“The Oak Ridge Boys are devastated by the loss of a friend and a brother and one of the greatest voices to ever sing a song!!! As a young man B.J.’s biography and song called ‘Home Where I Belong,’ and his testimony of how Jesus Christ changed his life meant the world to me. A few years ago I shared that with him late one night over pizza on the Country Music Cruise. We cried and prayed together. I loved B.J. Thomas. There’s a Brand New Star up in Heaven tonight and we will miss you, man. Until the Promised Day,” added The Oak Ridge Boys’ Joe Bonsall.
“I was a huge fan of B.J. and his wonderful voice before I started recording, so I loved getting to know him when we were both having hits on United Artist Records early in my career. With all his great songs and career success, B.J. was always so nice and humble. It’s hard to say goodbye to an old friend. My heart is with Gloria and all of B.J.’s family,” said country singer Crystal Gayle.
“I’m really sorry to hear of the passing of B.J.Thomas. I hope he had a good life. I remember all the girls loved him,” said “American Pie” singer Don McLean.
“I will always remember BJ Thomas as a special man, my friend, and a peer I’d known for decades. BJ had an enormously warm heart and a huge talent to match.” – Sam Moore of Sam & Dave fame.
“B.J. Thomas not only had a great voice, but he was right for his time in the movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with the song ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head’ which was perfect for his career. I knew him personally and he was a wonderful human being. He will be sadly missed,” said Lee Greenwood.
“I can’t believe that another great voice has gone silent. One of the reasons I became a singer was because of B.J. Thomas. It was after hearing his recording of “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” I’m so thankful that our friendship through the years grew into a deep one. To say I’ll miss him is an understatement. My prayers and deepest sympathy go out to Gloria and their family. R.I.P. my dear friend,” shared T.G. Sheppard.