Yodrak (ยอดรัก สลักใจ) was born Nipon Praiwan, in 1956 in Phichit Province. He wanted to be a doctor, but his family was poor, so he left school at an early age and started singing luk thung, Thailand's melodious heartbreak-infused country-folk music.
Here is more from TNA's obituary:
Mr. Yodrak's life changed when a disc jockey happened to visit the restaurant where the singer sang his country songs every night.
The DJ suddenly saw the magical glow of a 'luk tung' singer in Yodrak's body and the soul that poured out in his singing. Thus discovered, Mr. Yodrak has been a singer ever since.
Mr. Yodrak's singing ability was combined with songs by renowned composer Chonlathee Thanthong, leader the singer to warm welcomes from listeners across the country.
In the late 1970s, 'Yodrak fever' swept radio stations throughout Thailand.
During his 30 years in the luk tung industry, Mr. Yodrak launched over 500 albums, with more than 4,000 songs.
His best-known songs included 'Chakayan khon jon' about a poor person's bicycle, 'Samsib yong Jaew' about a man admiring a 30-year-old woman who is still beautiful, and 'Kamnan kamnai' in which the singer is a headman promising a young woman special privilege is she agrees to marry him.
Yodrak was featured on many television shows and in films. Among his recent film appearances are 2002's all-star luk thung cavalcade Mon Pleng Luk Thung FM and last year's Phrakanorn comedy In Country and Melody.
(Photo from In Country and Melody via SiamZone)