In a terrible tragedy, singer-songwriter and k-pop Superstar Kim Jong-hyun, widely known by his stage name Jonghyun, passed away today in an apparent suicide. Both family and police have confirmed his death. The 27-year-old performer was best known for being the lead singer of the extremely popular boyband SHINee.
Jonghyun’s sister reached out to authorities after receiving some deeply concerning text messages from her brother, one of which read “Please let me go. Tell me I did well. Final farewell.”
By the time police tried to reach the artist, he was already unresponsive on the floor of his apartment, having inhaled carbon monoxide and other poisonous fumes from a frying pan filled with coal on a stove. Emergency services tried to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital.
Jonghyun joined SHINee in 2008 when the band was commissioned by SM Entertainment. He participated in the writing of no less than 18 of the band’s songs throughout the release of the group’s six major albums in less than a decade. The group often sold out venues both in and out of South Korea.
Beginning in 2015, Jonghyun had also established a name for himself as a solo performer, with his last concert performance held on December 10th of this year.
Jonghyun will also be remembered fondly for his activism and charitable work. In a nation where stars often stay out of politics, Jonghyun was an outspoken supporter of LBGTQ rights and educational reform.
Many have interpreted Jonghyun’s final Instagram post as a last, emotional cry for help with the post containing lyrics from the Dear Cloud song “Beside You.” While the post dates to late November, it has struck a painful, poignant chord with fans in the wake of the singer’s untimely demise.
‘I had a thought while curling up in a dark room alone
When you might regret letting go of everyone.
Have the sighs and the restless wounds stopped by now.
I pray only that you aren’t hurting.
I hope only that you will be happy.
Please don’t try to be alone in the darkness
Don’t torture yourself
Don’t torture you.’
If you or your loved ones are in any psychological distress or crisis, please call 1-800-273-8255 or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/