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Fame and celebrity

Jonghyun, singer in K-pop boy band SHINee, commits suicide

Kim Jong-hyun was found unconscious at a rented flat in Seoul by his sister

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 December, 2017, 7:04pm
UPDATED : Friday, 02 March, 2018, 5:03pm

The lead singer for South Korea’s top boy band SHINee died on Monday after being taken to hospital unconscious, Yonhap news agency reported. He was 27.

Kim Jong-hyun’s death was an apparent suicide, police said.

Kim, better known by his stage name Jonghyun, was found at a rented flat in Cheongdam-dong, southern Seoul, around 6:10pm, according to Yonhap, quoting police.

News channel YTN reported that the singer had checked into a serviced residence for two nights.

The agency said Kim’s sister made the initial call to emergency services at 4:42pm, saying she believed her brother was committing suicide.

Yonhap said Kim’s sister had received a text message from her brother soon before his death that said: “Please let me go. Tell me I did well. Final farewell.”

The singer was taken to a nearby hospital but later died, police said. Investigators said they discovered brown coal being burnt on a frying pan upon arriving at the flat and are looking into the circumstances of his death.

The five-member boy band have become one of the country’s most popular since releasing their debut album, The Shinee World, in 2008.

In 2011, SHINee made a successful foray into the Japanese market, and have since built a huge fan base there.

The Japanese-language version of their single Replay sold more than 100,000 copies in Japan – at the time, this was the highest number of sales in the country for a debut single by a South Korean group.

SHINee are considered among the best live performers in K-pop and have won multiple awards for their complex dance routines.

Kim, who also had a successful career as a solo singer-songwriter, last appeared in public at a solo concert in Seoul earlier this month.

Grief-stricken fans and fellow celebrities took to social media to express their sorrow.

A Twitter account devoted to K-pop photos said: “Sending our deepest condolences to SHINee Jonghyun and those who known him well. If you’re going through a hard time, please do know that you never walk alone. Talk to someone and take care of yourself.”

Another Twitter user wrote: “today we lost one of the most talented artists in korea. i’m heartbroken and devastated by the news.”

Additional reporting by The Guardian