British pop group The Moody Blues strike a strange pose, 12th February 1965. Left to right : Ray Thomas, Mike Pinder, Denny Laine, Graeme Edge and Clint Warwick.

Very sad news out of the classic rock world as Moody Blues founding member Ray Thomas passed away suddenly at the age of 76.

Thomas’ death was confirmed by his record label Esoteric Records via Facebook in the following statement:

“It is with profound sorrow and sadness that Cherry Red Records and Esoteric Recordings regret to announce that Ray Thomas, founder member, flautist and vocalist of the Moody Blues, passed away suddenly at his home in Surrey on Thursday 4th January 2018.

We are deeply shocked by his passing and will miss his warmth, humour and kindness. 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.”

A cause of death was not released at this time.

Thomas, along with Mike Pinder and Denny Laine, founded the Moody Blues in 1964 and will be part of the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction class along with Justin Hayward, Graeme Edge and John Lodge.

Lodge released his own statement via Twitter regarding Thomas’ passing.

Erica Banas is rock/classic rock news blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.