Music industry mourns legendary luk thung singer Wipoj

Music industry mourns legendary luk thung singer Wipoj

Wipoj Phetsuphan
Wipoj Phetsuphan

The entire music industry is mourning the loss of national artist and legendary luk thung stalwart Wipoj Phetsuphan, who passed away peacefully in hospital on Wednesday afternoon aged 79 years.

Entertainment figures poured out their grief over his passing. An official fanpage broke the news of the departure of the king of lae music on Wednesday.

He had been hospitalised since Nov 14 last year. The family will move his body from Taksin Hospital in Bangkok to Wat Wang Nam Yen in Suphan Buri on Friday.

National artist Kwanjit Sriprajan was among those shocked by the loss, which follows the recent passing of Sornphet Sornsuphan, another legendary luk thung singer. She said she had been talking Wipoj by video only on Tuesday, and he appeared in good condition.

As his student and crew member, Kwanjit held a high opinion of the performer

“I learned a lot from him. He was down-to-earth, amiable and generous. He is a great inspiration to younger artists. May he rest in peace. May posterity remember him forever,” she said.

Her words were echoed in music circles by many people mourning their huge loss on social media platforms.

Luk thung stars Ekachai Sriwichai, Fon Tanasoonthon, Ja Nongpanee, and Paowalee Pornpimol offered their condolences on the passing of "Father Wipoj". Music director Jakkawal Saothongyutitum shared his fond memory of "Uncle Wipoj", who gave him his first keyboard when they set up a luk thung band.

Wipoj, a Thai of Lao descent, was born on March 7, 1942, in Suphan Buri. He started out with esaew folk music in his hometown at an early age and then took up lae at 14. He became a legendary luk thung star who shaped the industry for many decades.

He composed many songs, many of which were performed by other singers. He wrote the song “Countryside Singer” for late songbird Pumpuang Duangjan, who rose to fame from child labourer in a sugar plantation.

Wipoj became a national artist in performance (luk thung singer) in 1997. Hit songs included  "Num Na Ro Nang", "Sah La Wan Rum Wong", "Taeng Tao Tai", "Fang Kao Tid Kaew", "Sai Klon Rue Plao" and "Sao Poo Tai".

In this video uploaded by YouTube user PINGZA Official, Wipoj sang the song "Taeng Tao Tai" at a luk thung concert in 2008. The song is about a man falling for a water melon vendor near a canal in Bangkok. He tries to chat her up but later discovers that she already has a lover.

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