Thongchai “Bird” McIntyre (Thai: ธงไชย แมคอินไตย์, pronounced [tʰōŋ.tɕʰāj]) (born Albert Thongchai McIntyre, December 8, 1958) is a Thai pop singer who released his debut album in 1986. He is also sometimes known as Bird Thongchai, Phi Bird (elder brother Bird) or simply Bird.
Considered to be Thailand’s No.1 Superstar, he is one of the most successful singers in Thailand’s history, having sold more than 20 million albums.Thongchai McIntyre or “Bird Thongchai” is best known for his string (Thai pop) and luk thung music. He has also acted in numerous films, on television, musicals, and in commercials.
Thongchai McIntyre was born in Bangkok in 1958 to parents James and Udom McIntyre. His family were musicians, hence he enjoyed an upbringing in a musical environment. His father died when Bird was still a child. He started working in a bank as an officer. While working in a bank, he had a chance to meet the famous Thai TV producer “Kai Varayuth” who saw entertainment talent in Bird. Bird played his first TV series with Kai while still working in a bank. This role revealed his talent. His most memorable role was that of Captain Kobori from Koo Kam, a tragic love story between a Japanese soldier (played by Bird) and a local Thai girl during the World War II where he starred in both a TV series and reprised his role in the 1996 film adaptation, Sunset at Chaophraya.
He reached the height of his musical career in the early nineties. Among his best-known songs are Duay Rak Lae Pook Pan, Koo Gud, Sabai Sabai and Kob Jai Jing Jing. His popular singles released recently include luk thung singles Mah Tummai (with Jintara Poonlarp), Fan Ja (with Jintara and Jarin B. (Joey Boy), Nat Myria Benedetti and Katreeya English), Lao Su Kan Fang, and Yak Tham Kor Tob and Mai Kang Ying Pae from his album “Volume One”. Westerners became aware of him in the mid nineties as he became the first Thai artist to receive an International MTV Award, be featured in the most high budget Thai film at the time, “Sunset at Chaopraya”(which reached international acclaim in Japan as well as the U.S.). He was featured on CNN and Variety magazine. An award winning documentary on his life entitled “Crossing Borders” directed by Phanjanit Garnploog can be seen at St. John’s University in New York which includes rare interviews with the director. In 2010, Bird made his first international tour in Los Angeles and the 50th Anniversary of Lincoln Center in New York.
In late 2007, he released another album entitled “Simply Bird”, which features songs such as Chuay Rap Tee and Mee Tae Kid Tueng.