News of the accident and her death started spreading in online media yesterday morning, before news reports and television coverage confirmed it later in the evening. Her relatives reportedly coordinated with Thai consular officials in Los Angeles for the return of her body to Thailand for a funeral, possibly at Wat Sai Mai in northern Bangkok.
Quoted in news reports, Phadungsak, a brother of Phatchara, said the accident occurred a few days ago and that she was pronounced dead at a local hospital in California yesterday. After retiring from her musical career in 1986, Phatchara, who became a US citizen, worked as a Thai-language teacher and a helper in senior citizens’ homes. She was studying for a nursing diploma.
Phatchara, known as Ae, started attending singing classes at the age of nine, and began her singing career with a band at the Shangri La Hotel after graduating from high school. Known for her unique husky voice, she entered show business professionally in 1982 when she joined now-defunct The Ovation as a vocalist.
She later released two solo albums and many singles after Nithithas Promotion, her record company, deemed her unique style and cool husky voice more appropriate for ballads than for the The Ovation’s style. She retired in 1986.