On May 29th, we lost one of the most endearing voices in pop, country and Christian music. Five-time Grammy award winner and Grammy Hall of Fame inductee, B.J. Thomas, died at his home in Arlington, Texas. He was 78 years old. He died from complications due to stage four lung cancer.
Over his lengthy career, Thomas had made his mark across various genres, including pop, country, and Christian music. On Billboard's Hot 100, Thomas logged 26 hits, including two No. 1s among five top 10s, from 1966 through 1983. His 1969 classic "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" became his first leader on any Billboard survey, spending four weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 and seven frames atop Adult Contemporary. Some of his better known hits include "I Just Can't Help Believing," "Rock and Roll Lullaby," "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song," "Whatever Happened to Old Fashioned Love" and "New Looks From an Old Lover."
In terms of Christian music, Thomas recorded Home Where I Belong, on Myrrh Records in 1976. Produced by Chris Christian, the project won Thomas a Grammy and became the first of two Dove Award wins. The album became the first gospel record to sell a million copies.The album is 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.
The warmth and emotional timbre of Thomas's voice was well suited to the genre and he became one of gospel music's most successful artists. His rendition of "Amazing Grace" is considered one of the most poignant of the classic hymn's many covers. Altogether, between 1976 to 1982, Thomas recorded 8 Christian albums for Myrhh Records.
Here's a listen to some of our favourite B.J. Thomas songs:
1. Amazing Grace
2. I Want to Be More Like Jesus
3. Jesus on My Mind
4. Pray for Me
5. What a Difference You've Made