‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head’ singer B.J. Thomas dies at 78

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Singer B.J. Thomas, known for hits such as the 1969 chart-topper “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” died Saturday at age 78.

The artist’s official Twitter account announced his death. Thomas, who died in Arlington, Texas, revealed in March that he was suffering from lung cancer.

Thomas had eight top-20 hits on the Billboard charts from 1966-77. He later turned to gospel music and won five Grammy awards for his inspirational songs.

“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2014. The Burt Bacharach-Hal David tune won the Academy Award for Best Song when it appeared in 1969′s “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

Thomas had his first hit in 1966 with a cover of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” which hit No. 6 on the pop chart. In 1968 he climbed a spot higher on the list with “Hooked on a Feeling.”

He hit the summit a year later with “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” which played in the film as Paul Newman’s Butch Cassidy entertains Katharine Ross’ Etta Place by performing bicycle tricks.

“The record actually was released in October of ’69,” Thomas said in a 2018 interview with the Decades TV network. “And the movie came out for Christmas ’69, and when the movie came out, BANG, the song just exploded.”

The song in a sunny scene in a movie about two 19th-century bandits seemed out of place to some, including the Sundance Kid himself.

““When the film was released, I was highly critical — how did the song fit with the film?” Robert Redford told USA Today in 2019. “There was no rain. At the time, it seemed like a dumb idea. How wrong I was, as it turned out to be a giant hit.”

It has appeared in other films and TV shows, including a memorable scene in 2004′s “Spider-Man 2″ with Tobey Maguire.

Thomas hit No. 1 for the last time in 1975, with the longest title ever to top the chart, “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.”

Thomas, who was born in Hugo, Okla., and raised in Houston, admitted in his 2018 interview he might have become a bigger star.

“I was an alcoholic,” Thomas told Decades TV, “and like so many people of my time, I was a drug addict, so lots of things didn’t happen for me that could have happened.”

Thomas got sober in 1976 and turned to gospel music to express his newfound Christian faith. He did not turn his back completely on secular tunes, however. He still performed his old hits on tour, made country albums, and in 1985 recorded “As Long As We Got Each Other,” the theme to the sitcom “Growing Pains.”

Thomas is survived by his wife Gloria, who he married in 1968, and three daughters.