Moody Blues' founding member Ray Thomas dies at 76

Ray Thomas, a founding member of the band Moody Blues, died suddenly at home in Surrey, England on Jan 4, according to Cherry Red Records and Esoteric Recordings.
Ray Thomas, a founding member of the band Moody Blues, died suddenly at home in Surrey, England on Jan 4, according to Cherry Red Records and Esoteric Recordings.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Ray Thomas, a founding member of the band Moody Blues, has died at 76, his record label said on Sunday.

The flautist and vocalist died suddenly at home in Surrey, England, on Thursday, according to Cherry Red Records and Esoteric Recordings.

Thomas revealed on his website in 2014 that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer the previous year.

"My cancer was in-operable but I have a fantastic doctor who immediately started me on a new treatment that has had (a) 90 per cent success rate," he wrote.

"The cancer is being held in remission but I'll be receiving this treatment for the rest of my life."

Thomas rose to fame in the 1960s and 1970s after founding The Moody Blues with bandmates Mike Pinder, Denny Laine, Graeme Edge and Clint Warwick.

The group - whose hits included Go Now, Nights In White Satin and Question - have been chosen to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.

Thomas, who started out in blues and soul music bands, also enjoyed some solo success with the albums From Mighty Oaks and Hopes Wishes And Dreams.