Fans are mourning the passing of the music icon, Ray Thomas. Esoteric Recordings revealed the sad news on Sunday night, Jan. 7.
Thomas was a founding member of the rock group, Moody Blues. He also served as a flautist, singer, composer, and songwriter to the band until his retirement in 2002.
"We are deeply shocked by his passing and will miss his warmth, humour and kindness," a post published on the company's social media account reads. "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."
Thomas was 76 years old at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife and family.
Born in 1941, Thomas founded the Moody Blues with keyboardist Mike Pinder and guitarist/singer Denny Laine. The band is best known for their hit singles "Tuesday Afternoon," "Nights in White Satin," "Go Now," "Legend of a Mind," and "Question." Thomas and his bandmates are credited as pioneers of progressive and psychedelic rock. Their influences in the music industry are still apparent until today.
Thomas revealed in 2014 that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, he assured that the illness was treatable.
"My cancer was in-operable but I have a fantastic doctor who immediately started me on a new treatment that has had 90 per cent success rate," he said on a statement. "The cancer is being held in remission but I'll be receiving this treatment for the rest of my life. I have four close friends who have all endured some kind of surgery or treatment for this cancer and all are doing well."
Last year, it was announced that members of the rock band will be inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. Bon Jovi and Nina Simone are also set to be recognized in a ceremony in Cleveland on April 14.
Saying Good Bye To A Legend
John Lodge, Thomas's bandmate, paid his respects to his friend and constant collaborator. On a tweet, he remembered their lives as 14-year-olds in Birmingham who dreamt about becoming stars themselves.
Ray and I have been on this magical journey through life together since we were 14...two young kids from Birmingham who reached for the stars...and we made it together. El Riot you will always be by my side #moodyblues @rockhall #Moodiescruise— John Lodge (@JohnLodgeMusic) January 7, 2018
Fans are also mourning the passing of a music legend and a hero to many.
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— Gordy Marshall (@gordymarshall) January 7, 2018
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
Ray Thomas, one of my lifelong all-time musical heroes. Farewell Ray, and thank you for the glorious tunes and wonderful memories. pic.twitter.com/ZBEieuXLiq
— Rhonda Conley (@rhondarconley) January 7, 2018
Listening to this in honor of the late great Ray Thomas. This album was a game changer 51 years ago and its the album that refuses to die.@ProgMagazineUK @MDesbarres @EsotericArts @ProgRockers @jothekendall @RichardEpcar @TheJerryEwing @WhiteRhinoTea pic.twitter.com/6siMrF7WTv— Zachary Nathanson (@ZNathanson) January 8, 2018