Country Icon BJ Thomas dead at age 78

Country icon B.J. Thomas has died. The 78-year-old passed away at his home in Arlington, Texas on Saturday, May 29 after battling lung cancer.  The Oklahoma native previously announced he’d been diagnosed with Stage Four lung cancer on March 23, saying: “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,” Thomas said. “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.”

Thomas scored hits in the late ’60s and the 1970s including “Hooked on a Feeling,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” “I Just Can’t Help Believing,” “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” and more. Thomas also took home a Grammy for Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary or Inspirational for his recording of “The Lord’s Prayer” in 1981. He won Best Inspirational Performance again in 1982 for his rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

Thomas is survived by his wife, their three daughters and four grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending and will remain private.

Editorial credit: mark reinstein /