May 29, 2021: B.J. Thomas Dies at 78

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B.J. Thomas

B.J. Thomas, the award-winning pop, country and gospel singer, died May 29, 2021, at his home in Arlington, Texas, at the age of 78, from complications due to stage four lung cancer. Doctors had first diagnosed Thomas in March. At that time he was receiving treatment in a local health care facility in Texas.

Billy Joe Thomas, born August 7, 1942, in Hugo, Okla., was a five-time Grammy award winner and Grammy Hall of Fame inductee, who sold over 70 million albums worldwide, with a total of eight #1 hits on the various Billboard charts and 26 singles on the pop chart throughout his 50-year career.

About “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” written and produced by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Thomas told Best Classic Bands in one of his final interviews, “I was lucky to get it to begin with and now I just feel honored and blessed that I had that song to sing and on my shows.”

Watch him perform the song on The Ed Sullivan Show on Jan. 25, 1970

Thomas’ hits also include “Hooked on a Feeling,” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “I Just Can’t Help Believing,” “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Whatever Happened To Old Fashioned Love” and “New Looks From An Old Lover.”

In 2020, Best Classic Bands asked Thomas if he was contemplating retirement. “I never have thought much about that,” he said at that time. “I’m still singing at a certain level that I think is okay. I’d like to get back next year, by next fall and then do a few more years, and see how it works out.”

Related: Our extensive 2020 interview with Thomas

Listen to his beautiful interpretation of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

Best Classic Bands Staff

13 Comments so far

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  1. Mary Jane
    #1 Mary Jane 23 March, 2021, 20:31

    Wishing you all the best. Have always loved you “Most of All.”

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  2. Sunset
    #2 Sunset 23 March, 2021, 23:54

    BJ your voice the first time i heard it i could never stop listening. i’ll always be listening to you. you have charm n looks n so fine a voice get well soon

    Reply this comment
  3. Viv
    #3 Viv 24 March, 2021, 03:38

    BJ Thomas I just want you to know that I already said and will continue to say prayers for your complete recovery. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been going through so much. God is the perfect healer. Only he has the ability to miraculously remove anything less than Perfection from your lungs or your entire body. I pray that he does that for you now. I’ve always always always love your songs love your voice and I would love to continue hearing you for a long long time. Actually I want to hear a brand new song that you may record regarding your amazing healing. God bless you, your family and friends in every way.

    Reply this comment
  4. Timflyte
    #4 Timflyte 24 March, 2021, 09:21

    Gods speed…..We will add you to our prayers. God has gotten me through 2 cancers ( kidney & prostate ). God is truly the healer. We love your music.

    Reply this comment
  5. Joe
    #5 Joe 24 March, 2021, 10:53

    You have my prayers! Probably my all time favorite singer!!

    Reply this comment
  6. Stick
    #6 Stick 24 March, 2021, 11:54

    Wishing you all the best…even Hank would cry at how beautiful your version of “I’m So Lonesome…” is! Be Well…

    Reply this comment
  7. v2787
    #7 v2787 24 March, 2021, 12:38

    BJ Thomas performed at one of the very first rock ‘n roll concerts I ever saw, way back in the 60’s. (It was a Dick Clark Caravan of Stars show, with many great acts on the bill.) I still remember being blown away by “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, even after all these years have gone by. I wish him all the best and hope for a full recovery.

    Reply this comment
  8. Ronsbabe
    #8 Ronsbabe 25 March, 2021, 13:05

    Prayers for you and your family. We came to Branson to hear you a few years ago. It was so worth the drive. Absolutely no one can compare to your version of So lonesome I could cry. Prayers and love.

    Reply this comment
  9. Yvette
    #9 Yvette 30 May, 2021, 00:30

    The Heartfelt..Soulful Sound of B.J. Thomas will Live On with his Music Fans.
    My Favorite….”I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”.

    Reply this comment
  10. RecordSteve
    #10 RecordSteve 30 May, 2021, 11:41

    Sad music news to hear Billy Joe has gone home, to Rock & Roll Heaven, where he belongs. I always liked BJ’s music as a teenager (now 69) and always will thanks to his heartfelt recordings especially CHRISTMas and Christian albums. Bro. BJ you’ll be missed….

    Reply this comment
  11. Artie
    #11 Artie 30 May, 2021, 12:00

    When I heard Billy and Sue I was Hooked so to speak!

    Reply this comment
  12. blueeeyes
    #12 blueeeyes 30 May, 2021, 12:37

    R.I.P. , Sir ….

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  13. William
    #13 William 31 December, 2021, 19:35

    He was simply the best pure singer and was so underrated

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