B.J. Thomas, the acclaimed singer best known for hits like “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” “Hooked on a Feeling” and “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” announced his diagnosis of stage four lung cancer.
B.J. Thomas revealed today that his doctors have diagnosed him as having stage four lung cancer, and he is currently receiving treatment in a local healthcare facility in Texas. He is also hopeful for a complete recovery.
Here is what he said in a statement released on social media: “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“.
“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,” he wrote. “I ask all of you for your prayers during this time and that my music can live on with you.”
Billy Joe Thomas (born August 7, 1942) is an American singer widely known for his hit songs of the 1960s and 1970s, which appeared on the pop, country, and Christian music charts, and included recordings of the Mark James song “Hooked on a Feeling” (1968) and the Burt Bacharach and Hal David song “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” (1969).
Thomas’ chart-topping career launched in 1966 when his cover of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” sold more than a million copies. In 1968, he got another million copies for “Hooked on a Feeling” which reached No. 5 on the Hot 100 chart.
In 1969, it was Dionne Warwick who convinced songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David, who were working on music for the 1969 movie ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’, to consider having Thomas sing the main theme, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.” Bacharach had already asked Bob Dylan and Ray Stevens and been turned down by both, so he offered it to Thomas, who stepped in and made the song an enormous hit. The song shot to No. 1 and earned Thomas a Grammy in 1970 for ‘Best Male Pop Vocal Performance’. In the span of three years between 1977-80 he gathered another four performance Grammys and a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2014.
In 1976, Thomas released ‘Home Where I Belong’, produced by Chris Christian on Myrrh Records, the first of several gospel albums. It was the first Christian album to go platinum, and Thomas became the biggest contemporary Christian artist of the period. His most recent LP, ‘The Living Room Sessions’, an unplugged, acoustic record arrived in 2013 and reached No. 39 on the Top Country Albums chart. The singer has continued to perform regular shows in recent years, noting that he’s not quite ready for retirement.
He told the Arizona Republic in 2019 that: “If I reach a point where I don’t feel like I’m performing as well, I guess that could happen. I am getting older; it’s inevitable my throat is aging as well. Maybe there will come a time at some point, but, you know, as long as I’m really having fun and I still do have a major motivation to do it, I just want to do it.“