It’s often a sad fact of life that when it comes to famous people, fans tend to see only the happy, bright and positive aspects of their daily affairs, without any inkling for the bad things that lurk under the surface. Such then is the case with the internationally successful K-Pop boy band SHINee, in particular one of their members, lead vocalist Kim Jonghyun. At a cursory glance, everything’s been going great for SHINee, which has a presence in both South Korea and Japan. This year marked the release of their fifth Japanese album, with accompanying tour. Yet on Monday, Jonghyun was dead and the five-man band became four.
CNN Philippines has it that Kim Jonghyun, 27, was found unresponsive at his hotel residence in the Gangnam District of Seoul on December 18. He was discovered by medical first responders who were called to the scene by Jonghyun’s sister Monday afternoon (Seoul time). This was due to the sister receiving text messages from Jonghyun that read: “Please let me go. Tell me I did well. Final farewell.” Concerned that her brother was contemplating suicide, she called emergency services.
Upon finding Jonghyun unconscious in his home, first responders diagnosed him as having undergone cardiac arrest and made attempts to revive him all the way to a Seoul hospital. According to the South Korean news agency Yonhap, the singer did not regain consciousness and was later pronounced to have died. Police are investigating the possibility that Jonghyun may have committed suicide as suspected. Evidence of coal briquettes being cooked on a frying pan in the star’s residence appear to lend some credence to the theory, implying that he may have been trying to suffocate himself with toxic fumes.
Kom Jonghyn rocketed to fame as part of SHINee when the boy band debuted in 2008, winning local and international followings with their throwback 90s musical fair and dance routines, coupled with the latest of contemporary fashions in their dress sense. He also embarked upon a successful solo artist career starting in 2015, and for a time was also host of his own FM radio program on the South Korean station MBC.
As expected of the K-Pop fandom, followers of SHINee and Jonghyun flocked to social media to express their condolences and pay him tribute. The late singer had appeared to drop off from the online community this year, not updating his Twitter since April. His last social media post was on Instagram last November where he posted lyrics of the song “Beside You” from fellow K-Pop group Dear Cloud, emphasizing the line “I pray you aren’t hurting.” Jonghyun’s last public appearance was at a solo concert in Seoul just this month.
Photo courtesy of idolator.com