Ray Thomas, founding member of The Moody Blues, dies at 76

Band to be inducted in Hall of Fame in April

Ray Thomas in 1970
Ray Thomas in 1970 (Nationaal Archief via Wikimedia Commons)

Ray Thomas, a founding member of The Moody Blues, has died at 76, according to The Associated Press, Rolling Stone magazine and other media outlets.

The band is due to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in April.

Thomas’ music label said he died suddenly Thursday at his home in Surrey, south of London. No cause of death was given, but Thomas disclosed in 2014 that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Thomas founded The Moody Blues in 1964 with keyboardist Mike Pinder, drummer Graeme Edge, bassist Clint Warwick and guitarist Denny Laine. The band would soon replace Laine with Justin Hayward and Warwick with John Lodge to form its classic lineup.

The group’s 1967 album "Days of Future Passed" is a prog-rock landmark, and Thomas's flute solo on the single "Nights in White Satin" one of its defining moments.

Thomas released two solo albums after the band broke up in 1974. The Moody Blues later reformed, and Thomas remained a member before leaving in 2002 due to poor health.