Published on December 10, 2007
Teen heartthrob Parnrawat Kittikorn-charoen, better known as Big of boy band D2B, died yesterday after four years in a coma, his doctors said.
Parnrawat's coma was caused by a brain infection he contracted after his car plunged into a polluted canal in 2003. His death came a week after family, friends and fans celebrated his 25th birthday.
About a hundred tearful members of Big's fan club flocked to Siriraj Hospital yesterday to make their farewells. Pichaya Pongcharoen, a Mathayom 5 student at Satree Watrakang School, said she had been a fan since she was in Mathayom 1 and was shocked to hear of Big's death.
Tassanee Suriyasenee, a 17-year-old from Satree Nakhon-sawan School, said she was very sad that Big had left his family and fans forever. She has all Big's albums and books about him and has taken part in activities with Big's family and fan club in the four years since his accident.
In late 2001, three boys of different ages and from different places - Kawee "Beam" Tanjararak, Worrawech "Dan" Danuwong and Apichet (Big's old name) - came together as a boy band named D2B for the first letters of their nicknames and released a self-titled debut album that same year. Despite a slow start, sales eventually exceeded a million copies.
D2B won teenagers over with hits such as "Tor Na Chan (Ther Tham Yangnan Dai Yangrai)" (Why Did You Do That Before Me?) and "Mai Mee Ther Wannan Mai Mee Chan Wannee" (Without You Then, Without Me Now). Their music videos, starring the three lads, also went down well with teenagers.
Parnrawat, who charmed fans with his bright egg-shaped face and sexy eyes and beetle brows, was the only child of Udom and Yupha in Samut Prakan.
The third-year student of mass communication at Bangkok University was an outgoing person with a sense of humour.
"I'm not the type of guy who likes to be confined to a room," Big is quoted as saying in the book "D2B: The Definite Collective Photography Album", released in 2003.
"Big is the only child, so he is rather self-centred," the book quotes Beam as saying. "But he loves friends."
Big's first school was Theparak Kindergarten. In his teens he studied at Assumption School in Samrong until Mathayom 3, and then at Pensamit School in Bang Kapi.
While in high school, he got his first public exposure as a model in two TV commercials for Pepsi and Swensen's ice cream.
Soon after joining the singing club in high school, Big was advised by a teacher to enter the "Star Challenge" singing contest being held by RS Promotion. It was his first step on the road to stardom as a member of D2B.
Research showed that D2B's members appealed to a variety of audiences. Beam was adored by university students, Big was a teen heartthrob and Dan's appeal was universal due mainly to his boy-next-door looks.
D2B won many awards over the years.
In the photograph album book, Big said of his future: "I would like to have a meadow with a dairy farm because I would like to be a boss, not a follower. Most importantly, I think that it is private and peaceful."
Big's funeral rites are being held at Wat Nam-daeng in Samut Prakan until December 15.