Moody Blues Founder Ray Thomas Dies Aged 76

Moody Blues Founder Ray Thomas Dies Aged 76 Promo Image

Ray Thomas, founding member, vocalist and flutist in the British rock ban Moody Blues, has died at the age of 76.

Thomas announced in 2014 that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and was receiving treatment for it, according to The Guardian.

"We are deeply shocked by his passing and will miss his warmth, [humor] and kindness," a statement from Thomas' record label, Esoteric Recordings/Cherry Red Records, noted. "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 died at his home in Surrey, England, on Jan. 5. The cause of death was not revealed by his record company.

Thomas explained his diagnosis on his website.

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"My cancer was inoperable but I have a fantastic doctor who immediately started me on a new treatment that has had 90% success rate," Thomas wrote in 2014. "The cancer is being held in remission but I'll be receiving this treatment for the rest of my life."

John Lodge, the Moody Blues' bassist, reacted to news of Thomas' passing on Twitter.

"Ray and I have been on this magical journey through life together since we were 14," wrote Lodge, according to Rolling Stone. "Two young kids from Birmingham who reached for the stars…and we made it together. El Riot you will always be by my side."

Lodge played together with Thomas in the bands El Riot and Rebels in the early 1960s.

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The Moody Blues formed in 1964 and released a series of progressive rock albums, including "Days of Future Past," "In Search of the Lost Chord," "A Question of Balance" and "Every Good Boy Deserves Favor."

The band took a break from the mid 1970s. Thomas retired from the Moody Blues in 2002.

Thomas also achieved solo success, creating the albums "From Mighty Oaks" and "Hopes Wishes and Dreams."

In December 2017, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced that the Moody Blues would be inducted in 2018. Lodge noted in an interview that the band members, including Thomas, would consider a reunion for the event.

"If it works, it will be fantastic because it's a natural thing to do," Lodge said at the time. "I'm not trying to force it -- it'll be because it's supposed to be. They've been an integral part of my life. You can't dismiss that. It's locked in there."

Sources: The Guardian, Rolling Stone / Featured Image: Nationaal Archief/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Michael Borkson/Wikimedia Commons, Chris Lester/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

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