A true American institution whose iconic pop, country and gospel hits defined their respective generations and now transcend them, B.J. Thomas has enjoyed an incredible half a century in music. A five-time Grammy and two-time Dove Award winner who has sold more than 70 million records and is ranked in Billboard's Top 50 most played artists over the past 50 years, B.J. is no stranger to the Grand Ole Opry stage.
"I have always had a burning desire to be a musician," says B.J. "I was attracted to music when I was very young. I got in my first band when I was 15, so that's all I've ever done."
B.J. Thomas (born Billy Joe Thomas) straddled the line between pop/rock and country, achieving success in both genres in the late '60s and '70s. At the beginning of his career, he leaned more heavily on rock & roll, but by the mid '70s he had turned to country music, becoming one of the most successful country/pop stars of the decade.
B.J. began singing while he was a child, performing in church. In his teens he joined the Houston-based band the Triumphs, who released a number of independent singles that failed to gain any attention. After his unsuccessful stint with the Triumphs, B.J. began a solo career, recording a version of Hank Williams' standard "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" with producer Huey P. Meaux. Released by Scepter Records in early 1966, the single became an immediate hit, catapulting to number eight on the pop charts. Decades later and after multiple label switches, B.J.'s accolades include the hits "Hooked on a Feeling," "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head," "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" and "New Looks From an Old Lover."
Even after many years of success, B.J. continues to record and tour. After all, music is all B.J. has ever wanted to do, and it's certainly proved to be a worthwhile calling for the musician.
"The Grand Ole Opry was on every Saturday night."