The entertainment world is in mourning today following the death of Ray Thomas. The 76-year-old was best known for being part of the English rock band, The Moody Blues.
The band found success in the 1960s and were often credited for introducing the masses to a new era of rock music. Thomas passed away at the age of 76 late last week.
His record label broke the devastating news to fans with a statement. Cherry Red Records and Esoteric Recordings said that he died suddenly on Thursday.
“It is with profound sorrow and sadness that Cherry Red Records and Esoteric Recordings regret to announce that Ray Thomas, founder member, flautist and vocalist of The Moody Blues, passed away suddenly at his home in Surrey on Thursday 4th January 2018,” the statement read.
“We are deeply shocked by his passing and will miss his warmth, humour and kindness. It was a privilege to have known and worked with him and our thoughts are with his family and his wife Lee at this sad time.”
In 2014, the music icon revealed that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, although no formal cause of death was revealed in the statement.
Heartbroken fans took to social media to pay their respects to Thomas.
I don't know what to say .Ray Thomas, song writing genius and the greatest rock flautist ever, original Moody Blue … your boat has finally sailed.RIP.Thank you for the music.Irreplaceable and unforgettable.I'm just numb???????? pic.twitter.com/WRcbYD0oea
— Annette Powell (@AnnettePowell14) January 7, 2018
One fan wrote: “My heart is breaking over this news. R.I.P. Ray… Your beautiful music will be missed.” Another said: “I don’t know what to say. Ray Thomas, song writing genius and the greatest rock flautist ever, original Moody Blue … your boat has finally sailed. RIP. Thank you for the music. Irreplaceable and unforgettable. I’m just numb.”
A third added: “Simply devastated to hear the news about Ray Thomas. Without doubt Ray was an exceptional musician, performer, wit, intellect & friend – indeed one my favourite people of all time. To say he will be missed in an understatement of vast proportions. Love to all the Moodies family.”
The Moody Blues found international fame with an array of catchy hits including ‘Nights in White Satin’, ‘Question’ and ‘Go Now’. Together, they sold more than 70 million records around the globe and were set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame later this year. If that wasn’t enough, they even appeared as animated characters in a 1999 episode of The Simpsons.
Thomas was born in Stourport-on Severn in the United Kingdom on December 29 in 1941. He had recently celebrated his 76th birthday.
As well as being one of the founding members of The Moody Blues, Thomas also found success as a solo artist. He released two albums including From Mighty Oaks in 1975 and Hopes Wishes and Dreams in 1976.