American Grammy-winning singer Billy Joe Thomas has died at the age of 78.
A statement released by his representatives said the US star, who announced in March that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer, died from complications of the disease on Saturday at his home in Arlington, Texas.
BJ Thomas, a Hugo – Oklahoma-native who grew up in Houston, broke through in 1966 with a gospel-styled cover of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and went on to sell millions of records and have dozens of hits across genres.
His signature recording was “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head,” a number one pop hit and an Oscar winner for the best original song as part of the soundtrack to one of the biggest movies of 1969, the irreverent western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
In the late 1970s and early ’80s, he was also a top gospel and inspirational singer, winning two Dove awards and five Grammys, including a Grammy in 1979 for best gospel performance for The Lord’s Prayer.
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