Moody Blues founding member Ray Thomas died Thursday at his home in Surry, England. He was 76.
“We are deeply shocked by his passing and will miss his warmth, humor and kindness," Thomas' label Esoteric Recordings/Cherry Red Records said in a statement. "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, the band’s flautist and vocalist, and keyboardist Mike Pinder formed the Moody Blues in 1964, alongside drummer Graeme Edge, bassist Clint Warwick and guitarist Denny Laine, and released their debut album “Go Now.” John Lodge would later join the band, replacing Warwick, while Justin Hayward replaced Laine.
In 2002, Thomas left the band due to health issues, and in 2013 he revealed he was suffering from “in-operable” prostate cancer, which was in remission. Just last month Moody Blues was chosen for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Lodge said at the time that he hoped Thomas would join them for the ceremony in April.
- Following news of his death, Lodge tweeted, "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.”