B.J. Thomas and wife Gloria had a great 53-year run despite the odds that could have kept them apart from each other forever. They never gave up on each other and they won. And in an industry where staying married is a big challenge, they sure showed that it could be done. As Thomas said in one of his interviews, married life is a beautiful life. He loved women, but he was only in love with one woman.
Let’s celebrate their love and life by retelling their love story – from the day they first met to their struggles and till death parted them.
The First Chapter: The Day They First Met
As most country music love stories start, B.J. Thomas and Gloria first met in a club. In an interview he had with Closer Weekly, Thomas dished the story. According to him, he saw a girl across the table who turned out to be Gloria. She was hanging out with a friend of his who was a drummer. He went out to find him and said that he was taking Gloria home. It was love at first sight.
When they got outside, she told him that if he was going to change his mind, she would understand. He did not understand what she was talking about until he saw her face. She had scars all over her face, and she just had 400 stitches removed after going through a windshield.
But he just fell in love with her, then they dated for a year and in December 1968, the couple tied the knot. Gloria was just 18 back then, but they never gave up on each other. Fifty-two years later, they still had it strong and even better.
Who is B.J. Thomas’ Wife, Gloria Thomas?
Gloria Thomas, or Gloria Richardson before she married B.J. Thomas, was born October 15, 1949 in Lynchburg, Virginia. She is a singer-songwriter who wrote Thomas’ 1980s tracks “Miracle” and “The Great American Dream.” She was also credited for his recent songs such as “All Is Calm All Is Bright/Love Shines.” Aside from writing songs for her husband, she also co-wrote one 4 tracks with him for her album “When I Become the Wind.”
Aside from being a singer-songwriter, B.J. Thomas’ spouse is also an author with 11 published books like “In Tune: Finding How Good Life Can Be” which she wrote with her husband. The memoir talked about the impact of success in their lives and how their Christian life renewed them.
The Second Chapter: Marriage, Family, and Struggles
After tying the knot in 1968, the couple was blessed with their first daughter Paige in 1970. Then they adopted Nora from North Korea in 1978. And a year later, they had Erin. And then they had four grandchildren whom they adore so much. In an interview with AZCentral, Thomas said that he had tattooed his wife’s name on his shoulder, and he also had all of his daughters’ and grandkids’ names inked on him.
And just like any country music artist, Thomas also released a song about him and his wife titled “Most of All” from his 1970 album of the same name. Thomas said that that song meant a lot to him.
But not everything worked out for them. At a young age, Thomas had already been exposed to drugs and alcohol. And this was something that he had struggled dealing with since he started performing at 15. In an interview with Rick Coates, he said that as his success grew, so did his substance abuse. He would pop a pill every day just to keep going.
And after the phenomenal success of “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” in 1969, his addiction was exacerbated. A record producer in Houston suggested to him to take amphetamines to keep his energy up. He toured and popped a dozen pills every day, and this took a toll on their marriage.
In 1975, after seven years of marriage, Gloria asked him to leave. But the separation did not last long as Thomas nearly overdosed. He took an estimated 80 pills on his way to a performance in Hawaii.
That incident that nearly took his life changed him for the better and also changed the course of his career. By January 1976, he became a Christian following his wife. And he had been sober since their reconciliation.
In the 1980 B.J. Thomas’ biography “Home Where I Belong,” he and Jerry B Jenkins tackled all of these: fame, fortune, and addiction. Thomas credited his wife’s support for helping him get through that tough time. He said that Gloria could always see him for who he was and not for what he thought he was, and she helped him become the person that he was today.
The Last Chapter: ‘Til Death Do Us Part
Last March 24, 2021, B.J. Thomas announced that he was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer, and he was receiving treatment in a local health facility in Texas. In a tweet, he also expressed his gratitude towards his wife Gloria, who had been his rock for over 53 years. He also added how he was blessed to have the opportunity to record and perform songs and share all those memories with everyone – family, friends, and fans. He also asked for prayers for his complete recovery.
Sadly, on May 29, 2021, he lost his battle with cancer at 78 and died in his home in Arlington, Texas. B.J. Thomas and wife Gloria shared and celebrated over 53 years of love and life, and their love story is an inspiring story of love that won against odds.
B.J. Thomas, Gloria Thomas