City honors Hugo native B.J. Thomas with tribute

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 6:27 PM CDT
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HUGO, Okla. (KXII) - Last month Grammy award winning singer B.J. Thomas revealed his diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer. He just began chemotherapy treatment in Texas last week. Thomas, born in Hugo, was honored today by the city with a musical tribute.

“He was raised on fourth street. The house is gone, but there’s where he walked up and down the sidewalk is still there,” said Donna Head, executive director of Hugo chamber of commerce.

5 time Grammy award winner B.J. Thomas was born in Hugo where he spent the first 5 years of his life.

“We want him to know that Hugo still is behind him, we still love him, we still honor him as a ‘Hugoian,’” said Head.

After hearing about his stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis 3 weeks ago, the city of Hugo wanted to honor him with a tribute.

“There’s just something that we just feel a connection to B.J. Thomas and I hope he knows when he sees this today that we do still care about him and we still consider him, he’s a part of Hugo and always will be,” said Michele Frazier, chairperson of Hugo tourism.

The Lions club, Rotary club, Chamber of Commerce and Hugo ISD joined together to show appreciation for the 78-year-old and his music.

“As a singer, I grew up singing here in town and as you’re in choir you just kind of always know that B.J. Thomas is part of our heritage,” said Colby Bryant, Hugo resident.

Bryant recalls singing Thomas’ songs in high school. He sang at the tribute.

“This song we did it back when I was in show choir so to be able to sing it, for him to be able to hear it, that’s really neat,” said Bryant.

Thomas is best known for his 1969 hit “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head.” He was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2014.

“I have talked with his manager. We’re live-streaming this also and we will let him get it, make sure he gets it. He’s very grateful,” said Head.

In a tweet Thomas said he had his first chemo treatment last week at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

“We’ve got everybody out and enjoy just a few minutes of honoring B.J. We want to give him the sunshine-get-well,” said Head.

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