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SHINee Singer, K-Pop Star Jonghyun Dead at 27 of Possible Suicide

Police are investigating death of Kim Jong-hyun, who sent troubling text messages to his sister hours before he was found in a Seoul residential hotel

UPDATE: Hundreds lined up outside the Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea on Thursday, watching for a hearse bearing the coffin of their pop idol, Kim Jong-hyun. His SHINee bandmates and members of the pop group Super Junior carried his coffin from the hospital to the waiting car, according to the BBC. The funeral service was held in private, with only family and friends in attendance. 

Kim Jong-hyun’s friend, singer Nain9, posted a note he allegedly wrote before his death. “I am broken from inside. The depression that gnawed on me slowly has finally engulfed me entirely,” the note read. “I couldn’t defeat it anymore … I was so alone … The act of ending is difficult. I’ve lived until now because of that difficulty.”

SHINee lead singer and K-Pop star Kim Jong-hyun, better known by his stage name Jonghyun, died December 18th in what police are investigating as a possible suicide. He was 27.

According to the Associated Press, Kim was found unconscious at a resident hotel in Seoul and was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Police had rushed to the scene following an emergency call from his sister, who told them she had received a series of troubling texts from her famous brother.

“Please let me go. Tell me I did well. Final farewell,” the texts read, according to the Yonhap news agency.

The agency also noted that authorities found burned coal briquettes, which produce carbon monoxide, in a frying pan in Kim’s hotel room.

In a statement released by SM Entertainment, the entertainment company behind SHINee and numerous other successful K-Pop bands, the record label called for privacy for Kim’s family.

“Hello, this is SM Entertainment,” the statement reads. “We’re sorry to deliver such heart-aching, unfortunate news. On December 18, SHINee member Jonghyun left our side unexpectedly. He was found unconscious at a residential hotel in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul and was rushed to a nearby hospital but was declared dead on the evening of the 18th.”

“The deep sorrow cannot be compared to ones of his family who had to let go of their loving son and brother but the employees and artists of SM Entertainment, also in deep shock and sorrow, are offering condolences,” it continues. “Jonghyun was the best artist who loved music more than anyone and always worked hard for his performance. … We ask you to refrain from making rumors or assumptions based on reports in respect of his family who are in deep sorrow from the sudden news. As his family wished, his funeral will be carried out in the quietest manner with his family members and co-workers.”

SHINee debuted on the K-Pop music scene in 2008 with their first album, The SHINee World, and the group has reached a huge amount of success in the near-decade since its formation, with a string of Japanese-language albums and trend-setting styles. All of their Korean albums except their debut have topped charts upon release in their home country.

Kim also launched a successful solo career as a singer-songwriter in 2015, with three albums over the last three years, as well as a book, Skelton Flower, published in 2015. It detailed the stories behind his songs. 

In This Article: Obituary

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