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Thread: Kim Jong-hyun, lead singer of K-Pop band SHINee, passes away aged 27

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    Default Kim Jong-hyun, lead singer of K-Pop band SHINee, passes away aged 27

    Kim Jong-Hyun dead aged 27: Beloved Korean boyband SHINee's lead singer commits suicide, his heartbroken sister confirms

    ByEmmeline Saunders

    • 13:03, 18 DEC 2017
    • Updated14:47, 18 DEC 2017

    The singer-songwriter's cause of death has been reported as carbon monoxide poisoning, leaving millions of fans devastated

    The beloved lead singer of Korea's most popular K-Pop boyband has died today at the age of 27.

    Kim Jong-Hyun, who sang and performed as part of the chart-topping band SHINee, committed suicide, according to reports in the Korean media.

    He was found inside a rented apartment in Cheongdam-dong, in the south of the capital Seoul. He'd checked into the serviced residence for two nights, Korean news channel YTN reports.

    Police responded to a call from Jonghyun's sister, who was concerned that he was going to attempt suicide.

    A statement from Gangnam Police confirmed that the talented musician's sister called officers with concerns that Kim was threatening to take his own life.

    "On December 18, 2017 at 4:42PM Jonghyun's older sister reported to Police that her brother was about to commit suicide," said the statement.

    It's thought the singer died from carbon monoxide poisoning (Image: Instagram)

    (Jonghyun's sister called the police over fears her brother was about to commit suicide) (Mirror UK)

    The Korean band SHINee is one of the biggest in the country and has millions of fans (Mirror UK)

    "We went to his residence in Chungdam and discovered that he had attempted to commit suicide."

    The statement added: "Emergency responders were with us at the time so we rushed him to the Konkuk University Hospital in a state of cardiac arrest."

    His cause of death is said to be carbon monoxide poisoning, which could have been caused by breathing in fumes. It was thought he died en route to the hospital.

    It's being reported by Korean news sites that Jonghyun left a suicide note, which his sister may have read.

    In 2013, Jonghyun came under fire from trolls belonging to an ultra-conservative group.

    (Jonghyun with his sister and mother) (Mirror UK)

    (He was just 27 years old) (Mirror UK)

    He had changed his Twitter profile to represent his support for the LGBTQA community, which didn't go down well with ILBE Storage - a right-wing website based in Korea whose colloquial name is short for Ilgan Best, or 'popular daily'.

    According to, Jonghyun came "under attack" from members of the site, who joined SHINee's fan club website and reportedly posted some obscene pictures of women's bodies along with captions designed to humiliate.

    In retaliation, the band's fans "declared war" on ILBE.

    In what reports was a supportive gesture to a transgender bisexual university student, Jonghyun had changed his Twitter profile image to one of the student's handwritten signs reading, "I am not OK", which had been hung up around the grounds of Korea University.

    (This was the picture Jonghyun changed his Twitter profile to, reportedly to support a transgender bisexual student)

    (He faced ire from a far-right website with his support of 'sexual minorities' in 2013) (Mirror UK)

    (Jonghyun with his pet dog) (Mirror UK)

    The singer also messaged the student to lend his support.

    The messages, which were written in Korean and translated, read: "I am sending these messages for fear of the damage or attention caused to you by my tweet that you may not want. I support you.

    "As an entertainer, as a minority in a different definition who deals with the public, I feel a great sense of loss in this world where we don’t admit differences. Of course, this can’t be comparable to your feeling," Jonghyun told the fan.

    Jonghyun was one of the founding members of Shinee in 2008 (Getty Images/Mirror UK)

    (Jonghyun has been praised by fans for his voice and support of social issues (Image: Instagram/jonghyun.948)

    "I support you shouting squarely that difference isn’t wrong. I don’t think you are a person who needs other’s consolation or concern. You are as strong as much. I wish you stay healthy, and have a warm end of the year."

    Tributes from heartbroken fans have already flooded social media.

    "Jonghyun's beautiful voice. Such a strong vocalist and such a good songwriter," tweeted one.

    (Jonghyun was reportedly trolled by ultra conservatives days before his death) (Mirror UK)

    (Fans are devastated by the singer's death) (Mirror UK)

    "He wrote one of my most favourite K-pop songs, Breathe. He had so much more to give. I'm so sorry he was in so much pain to do this. RIP Kim Jong Hyun."

    Another wrote: "I really don't know what to think but i do know that my heart is broken. rest in peace kim jong-hyun."

    And a third said in tribute: "Sending my condolence to Shawol and SHINee members and Jong Hyun's Family, of course. Kim Jong Hyun, rest in peace, you're talented. You're worth and the best. Once again, rest in peace."

    Fans Mourn Kim Jong-hyun, a K-Pop Singer Whose Style Was Instantly Recognizable


    (A memorial outside a hospital in Seoul on Tuesday for Kim Jong-hyun, whose suicide devastated many K-pop fans. Credit YONHAP, via Associated Press)

    Fans of the South Korean singer Kim Jong-hyun were in mourning on Tuesday, a day after he killed himself and left behind a note that said he was overcome by depression, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.

    Fans of the singer, who was 27 and known by his stage name Jonghyun, flocked to pay their respects or set up vigils on outside of Asan Medical Center in Seoul, where he was taken to the hospital on Monday and pronounced dead, the news agency reported.

    The police in Gangnam, where Mr. Kim’s body was discovered by his sister in an apartment, said there would be no autopsy because it seemed “clear that the deceased took his own life.”

    Yonhap reported that the singer had sent a text message to his sister saying, “Please let me go. Tell me I did well” and “final farewell.” It also quoted an Instagram post from Jang Hee-yeon, a friend and the lead singer of the rock group Dear Cloud, that said Jonghyun had written to her about his struggles with depression.

    “I’m broken from the inside. The depression that has slowly nibbled me away has now devoured me, and I couldn’t overcome it,” he wrote, according to her Instagram post.

    The singer also appeared to regret his life in the public spotlight, Yonhap reported. “Becoming famous was probably not my life. They tell me that’s why I’m having a hard time … Why did I choose that? It’s funny that I’m able to endure this much.”

    Mr. Kim performed both as a solo artist and with the group SHINee, which exemplified the genre known as K-pop, known for its elaborate choreography, fashionable, skin-baring outfits and different vocal styles.

    Fans left messages of condolence and mourning on the SHINee Twitter feed.

    “The online community really came together to share their grief,” Jeff Benjamin, the K-pop columnist for Billboard and digital editor for Fuse TV, said in an interview on Tuesday.

    Fueled by the rise of social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, K-pop groups have grown in popularity, managing to transcend borders, despite language barriers, to spread in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas.

    In 2011, aspiring singers from 16 countries competed in finals of the K-Pop World Festival competition in the South Korean town of Changwon, a confirmation of how widely their country’s cultural export had spread.

    Mr. Kim’s death leaves the loss of an artist unique in the genre. SHINee, founded in 2008 with a rhythm and blues sound, remained unusual because its five members stayed together for so long. “SHINee were the exception to the rule,” Mr. Benjamin said in an interview on Tuesday.

    Mr. Kim, unlike many K-pop stars who branch off into multifaceted endeavors such as fashion and acting, remained focused on music as a singer, songwriter and producer, a rare combination in 2008, Mr. Benjamin said.

    In 2016, Mr. Kim released a solo album called “She Is,” which Mr. Benjamin described as a “fascinating” range of pop music, including an Elvis-type crooning.

    “He had a piercing belt that I would instantly recognize,” Mr. Benjamin said. “It is definitely an accomplished work.”

    This year, SHINee toured the United States for the first time. In an interview with CNN in May after performing in Dallas, Los Angeles and Canada, Mr. Kim said:

    “We’ve come to the U.S. 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.”

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    I never heard of him, but he sounds like a gentle soul.

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    Elite Member crayzeehappee's Avatar
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    In the fog


    Anytime someone commits suicide is a sad sad thing. I've struggled with depression over the years as well. I feel for him and his family.
    rollo, BITTER, Mrs P and 4 others like this.
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    I don't know who he is but he looked like a young 27 year old. I too feel sorry for him and his family.
    I have some famous friends and I have mostly not famous friends.

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    With that name, I suspect North Korea
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    Elite Member BITTER's Avatar
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    When I first read this, I thought that maybe he had a heater in his house that emitted carbon monoxide fumes. When I was in Korea, we were warned to stay away from brothels that used this type of heating. Several sailors and their hookers had died over the years this way...

    That being said, this is a damn shame. South Korea has some really fucked up views - the only Asian nation influenced by Christianity.
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    Elite Member sprynkles's Avatar
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    Poor guy. That video was pretty awesome.

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    Do you mean the heaters which use coal briquettes? That's exactly what he used, and they are unfortunately still a common way to heat homes in South Korea. I read somewhere that they often were used for suicide.

    I'm devastated by his death. He was a great singer, songwriter, and dancer and unfortunately mental health is not treated well at all in South Korea, and the pressures in society to put on a brave face while at the same time working yourself to death and never doing anything that might upset your company, your fans, so-called "netizens," and on and on. The pressures just build and build. A scandal could range anything from people perceiving showing disrespect by not standing still onstage during a press event to dating to actual scandalous things like driving drunk. The people with actual non-issues get hounded until they quit the industry, end up hospitalized from stress-induced illness, or try to harm themselves.

    Jonghyun was a really nice person and this is particularly upsetting because a few months ago another singer/rapper/actor attempted suicide and I had hoped the music labels over there would start looking out more for their artists, but of course they fucking didn't.

    Jonghyun had spoken about his depression for several years with his friends, but it sounds like it wore him down until he planned his own death.

    (Sorry if I'm wall o' texting, but K-pop is my thing.)

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    Elite Member sprynkles's Avatar
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    So sorry Jade. I understand.
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    I am going to come and burn the fucking house down... but you will blow me first."

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    Elite Member arie_skop's Avatar
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    That's sad. K-Pop is a tough industry, the artists are under so much pressure to please the fans and record label.
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    A*O is offline
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    K-pop is massively popular in Asia. The big groups, and Shinee was among the biggest, have a devoted fan base. Like in the West some of the band members (like thi guy) are genuinely talented while others are there to look pretty and have shed loads of PS to achieve The Look. They are under constant, immense pressure to perform and conform and sooner or later some of them break. RIP.
    If all the women in this place were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be surprised - Dorothy Parker

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    First thought was I feel your pain and wanting it to end. Second thought, you can get past this and you're too great to leave. Third thought, I don't like the papers saying how he killed himself because other people that may be suicidal will use those means. I'm quite open with my pyschiatrist that I refuse to own a gun (husband wanted one for protection) because I'd think some day I may use it. My pyschiatrist told me of some situations where someone did try to end themselves via gun and they ended up surviving and dismembered/fucked for the rest of their life.
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    Elite Member lindsaywhit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BITTER View Post
    When I first read this, I thought that maybe he had a heater in his house that emitted carbon monoxide fumes. When I was in Korea, we were warned to stay away from brothels that used this type of heating. Several sailors and their hookers had died over the years this way...

    That being said, this is a damn shame. South Korea has some really fucked up views - the only Asian nation influenced by Christianity.
    I would actually think the Philippines is more influenced by Christianity, isn't it? At any rate, suicide is a problem in many parts of Asia. When we lived in Hong Kong, 2 or 3 students would jump, or use carbon monoxide, etc., every year. Jade and A*O are so right, the pressure is enormous. It's very sad. RIP.

    Mrs. P, thank you for staying with us. I would miss your insights and compassion and openness.
    bootspaige, teforde23 and Mrs P like this.

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    Elite Member NoNoRehab's Avatar
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    Does anyone know of anyone good longread articles about Kpop? I watched that documentary on Netflix about creating that female Kpop group and I've found that whole industry fascinating ever since.
    "Don't trust nobody, and 'nobody' meaning Jay Leno in particular." -Chris Rock

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