SHINee Lead Singer Kim Jong-Hyun Dies at 27
A tragic loss for the K-pop and music industry in general.
The lead singer of one of Korea’s most popular boy bands has died at age 27. According to reports, Kim Jong-hyun was found unconscious in his Cheongdam-dong apartment in the Gangnam District after his sister contacted the police to check up on his brother.
Jonghyun’s sister said that she received a series of texts from her brother that she believed to hint as a suicide note, which were “Please let me go. Tell me I did well,” “I’ve had difficulties” and “Final farewell”.
Unfortunately, the singer was pronounced dead at the hospital. It was reported that the cause death was due to carbon monoxide poisoning after inhaling toxic fumes from coal burning on a frying pan. Currently, the police see the incident as an apparent suicide.
SHINee’s management company released the following statement addressing Jong-Hyun’s death:
“We are sorry to be the bringer of such tragic, heart-breaking news… On December 18th, SHINee’s Jonghyun left us very suddenly. Our sadness cannot compare to the pain of his family, who had to say goodbye to a son and a brother. But we have spent a long time with him, and SHINee members and SM Entertainment staff are all in deep mourning and shock.”
SM Entertainment added that fans were invited to visit and pay their respects at Seoul Asan Hospital Tuesday. Afterwards, the family will hold a funeral in which the family requested to be held “as quietly as possible”.
Image Credit: Han Myung-Gu via Vogue
Two weeks before his death, the singer sent a 47-line text to Jang Hee-yeon, his friend and fellow musician known as Nine9 and a member of the band Dear Cloud. Jonghyun even requested Nine9 to post the message to social media “if he disappears from the world.”
The message said: “I’m broken from inside. The blues that slowly [ate me] has finally swallowed me whole. I couldn’t overcome.”
“I hated myself. Holding on to disappearing memories and screaming at it to wake up. There was no answer. If I can’t breathe, it’s better to stop.”
Nine9’s manager confirmed to CNN that she got the message and received permission from the singer’s family to release the message to the public.
Meanwhile, SM Entertainment posted to social media an image of Jonghyun with the message: “Jonghyun is the best artist who loved music more than anyone else, enjoyed the stage, and loved to communicate with fans through his music. We will always remember you.”
Founded in 2008, SHINee rose to fame with their debut EP, Replay. Paul Han, co-founder of allkpop, told CNN in May that SHINee has “been a top 3 popular boy group for nearly 10 years now.”
“They are a proven entity so no need to question their staying power,” he added.
With the release of their fifth studio album, Five, SHINee went on a world tour, which made them bring their new album in the United States. Meanwhile, Jonghyun performed solo projects as recently as this month.
“We’ve come to the US for fan meets before, but concerts make me a bit more nervous and excited. I hope our fans will be able to make great memories with us through the music and performances we show on stage,” Jonghyun told CNN in May after performing in Dallas, Los Angeles and Canada.
Image Credit: Han Myung-Gu/WireImage via Metro