According to Lemongello, Thomas died as a result of liver cancer but regularly kept up with his physical activities until his condition started deteriorating.
“He was aging, but he was active almost every weekend,” Lemongello, former singer for The Crests, told the newspaper. “Unfortunately, he went from being active to being at home and he started going downhill.”
Thomas, who was born in Virginia, US in 1937, joined the band in the late 1950s after The Drifters’ manager George Treadwell fired all the existing band members following a disastrous concert at the Apollo in Harlem, New York City.
The Drifters Member, Charlie Thomas Died At Age 85
(1/2) In Memoriam: 1988 Inductee Charlie Thomas' elegant tenor vocals helped bridge gospel with R&B and blues and laid the foundation for 1960s soul music. His work with The Drifters ushered in a golden age of enduring hits like "There Goes My Baby," "Sweets for My Sweet," pic.twitter.com/VzaCAEPet1— Rock Hall (@rockhall) February 7, 2023