A versatile songwriter, Thomas’s career spanned country, pop and gospel, earning him CMA, Dove and Grammy awards. He has sold over 70 million albums worldwide, recorded eight No.1 hits and recorded 26 Top 10 singles during his 50 years in the music business.
Ses succès comprenaient une reprise de la chanson de Hank Williams «I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry», le Grammy gagnant «(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song» et le hit monstre «Hooked On A Feeling . »
Thomas was also named one of Billboard’s 50 Most Performed Artists for the past 50 years. Other hits from the artist include “Can’t Help But Believe”, “Don’t Worry Baby”, “Whatever Happened To Old Fashioned Love” and “New Looks From An Old Lover”.
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Born in rural Hugo, Oklahoma as Billy Joe Thomas, he moved to Houston, Texas with his family and began singing in church as a child.
He joined the local group The Triumphs, then recorded in 1966 “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” with producer Huey P. Meaux. Released by Scepter Records, it peaked at # 8 on the pop charts and became his first single to a million sales.
The follow-up single, “Mama,” and her debut album were released the same year. In 1968, he released the million sales “Hooked on a Feeling” from his album, On my way.
Dionne Warwick met Thomas when he visited Scepter’s New York offices and introduced him to songwriter-producer Burt Bacharach. This led to a collaboration on “Raindrops Keep Fallin ‘on My Head,” written by Bacharach and Hal David and sung by Thomas.
The song was featured in the film Paul Newman / Robert Redford Butch Cassidy et le Sundance Kid, winning the Oscar for best original song. He has since reappeared in films such as Forrest Gump, Charlie’s Angels: full regime, clerk II, and Spider-Man 2, as well as several television shows.
Thomas a continué à rouler avec des tubes pop/rock comme « Everybody’s Out of Town », « I Just Can’t Help Believing », « No Love at All » et « Rock and Roll Lullaby ».
He signed to Paramount Records and released two albums — 1973 Songs and 1974 Longhorns et Londonbridges. In 1975, Thomas released the album Meeting sur ABC Records, avec « (Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song ».
Success has not been easy for Thomas, who has fallen into drugs. But he returned as a Christian born again into gospel music, signing with Myrrh Records and releasing the album. Home Where I belong in 1976.
It won a Grammy for Thomas and became the first of two Dove Awards while becoming the first gospel record to sell a million copies.
His song “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song was # 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Country Songs charts.” She won the Grammy for Best Country Song in 1976 and was nominated for CMA Single of the Year. On his 39th birthday in 1981, he also joined the Grand Ole Opry.
Thomas found the time to voice the theme song “As Long As We’ve Got Each Other” for the TV series Growing pains, and he has also been heard on numerous commercials, including campaigns for Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
No information on the survivors or a memorial was immediately available.