Singer B.J. Thomas, the voice behind enduring ‘60s and ‘70s hits like “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” and “Hooked on a Feeling” died Saturday at his home in Arlington, Texas, at the age of 78. According to the New York Times, spokesperson Jeremy Westby of 2911 Media confirmed the singer’s death. Thomas reportedly passed due to complications from lung cancer, a diagnosis which the singer revealed on his official Facebook page on March 23.
Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for 1969’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Thomas’s Grammy-nominated “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it remained for four weeks, before winning the Oscar for Best Original Song. Bacharach’s soundtrack for the film would also win Best Original Score. In 2014, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
By turns a country, gospel, and pop performer, Thomas had 15 singles in the Top 40 between 1966 and 1977, including “Hooked on a Feeling” in 1968 and “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” in 1975, which took home the Grammy for Best Country Song in 1976.
After finding sobriety and converting to Christianity in the mid-1970s, writes the Times, Thomas also found success on the gospel charts, winning four Best Inspirational Performance Grammys between 1977 and 1981, and taking home the Grammy for Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary for “The Lord’s Prayer” in 1980. Thomas is survived by his wife of 53 years, Gloria Richardson Thomas; three daughters; and four grandchildren.