Singer B.J. Thomas, known for his popular song 'Raindrops Keep Fallin on My Head', died at on Saturday. He was 78.
His death in Arlington, Texas, came after a lung cancer diagnosis.
Thomas won five Grammy Awards between 1977 and 1981, but he first came to public attention in 1966 with his rendition of the Hank Williams country standard I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry. He followed that two years later with 'Hooked on a Feeling', which hit the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
But his greatest fame came with 'Raindrops', part of the soundtrack of popular film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman.
The song, a sunny ode to optimism written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, brought him an Oscar and propelled him to the top of the US hit parade. It later provided background music in six other movies.
“Few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than B.J. Thomas,” his agents said on his fan site.
“With his smooth, rich voice and unerring song sense, Thomas’s expansive career crossed multiple genres, including country, pop and gospel.”
Thomas struggled with drug and alcohol dependence in the 1970s, but reached a turning point when he became an evangelical Christian in 1976, the agents said.
He turned to gospel music, and his album Home Where I Belong, released that year, sold more than a million copies.
Thomas had revealed in March that he was suffering from an advanced form of lung cancer.
Originally published in Dawn, May 31st, 2021