Five-time Grammy-winning artist B.J. Thomas, known for hit songs like “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” and “Hooked On A Feeling,” just made the tragic announcement that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.
“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, 78, said on Tuesday in a statement. “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.”
Fox News reported that Thomas is getting treatment at a local health care facility in Texas and that he is hopeful about his chances on beating this cancer. His website even states that he plans to continue making public appearances while receiving treatment, and that he is eager to keep interacting with fans.
Billboard reported that Thomas is one of its top 50 most played artists, and that he was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2014 for his 1969 hit song “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.” This song, which was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, won the Oscar that year for best original song.
Back in 2019, Thomas talked about the prospect of retiring one day in an interview with an affiliate of USA Today.
“If I reach a point where I don’t feel like I’m performing as well, I guess that could happen,” he said at the time. “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.”
Thomas’ most recent appearance on the the Billboard charts came in 2013 with duets album The Living Room Sessions, which reached No. 39 on the Top Country Albums chart.