K-pop star Kim Jong-Hyun found dead in Seoul hotel, police suspect suicide | music | Hindustan Times
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K-pop star Kim Jong-Hyun found dead in Seoul hotel, police suspect suicide

Kim, a lead singer of SHINee, was pronounced dead shortly after being moved to a hospital, and a coal briquette was found burning on a frying pan in the room. Burning coal briquettes, which release carbon monoxide, is a common method of suicide in South Korea.

music Updated: Dec 19, 2017 11:09 IST
This undated picture released by Yonhap news agency in Seoul on December 18, 2017 shows Kim Jong-Hyun, singer of popular K-pop group SHINee.
This undated picture released by Yonhap news agency in Seoul on December 18, 2017 shows Kim Jong-Hyun, singer of popular K-pop group SHINee. (AFP)

Kim Jong-Hyun, a lead singer of SHINee, one of South Korea’s top K-pop boybands, died on Monday, police said, in what appears to be a suicide.

The singer was 27 when he was found unconscious at a Seoul hotel by police after sending his older sister several text messages suggesting suicide, police said. The messages read “This is my last farewell,” “Things have been so difficult,” “Please let me go and say I did a good job,” prompting his sister to make an emergency call to the police.

This undated picture released by Yonhap news agency in Seoul on December 18, 2017 shows Kim Jong-Hyun, singer of popular K-pop group SHINee. (AFP)

Kim was pronounced dead shortly after being moved to a hospital, police said, adding a coal briquette was found burning on a frying pan in the room.

Burning coal briquettes, which release carbon monoxide, is a common method of suicide in South Korea, which has one of the world’s highest suicide rates.

The five-member SHINee is one of the best-known K-pop groups globally and has enjoyed a huge following across Asia and beyond since their debut in 2008. Known for powerful dance songs and well-orchestrated choreography performed with military precision, the boyband topped the US Billboard World Albums chart several times.

FILE - In this file photo dated Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, member of South Korean band SHINee, Jonghyun performs during their concert in Hong Kong. (AP)

Kim released his first solo album in 2015 that reached number one on the Billboard World Albums chart. He also performed at solo concerts in Seoul last week.

His death sent shockwaves through K-pop fans with social media flooded by messages of mourning. Photos posted on social media showed throngs of fans standing in front of the Seoul hospital where his body lies.

A portrait of Kim Jong-hyun, the lead singer of top South Korean boy band SHINee, is seen on an altar during a memorial service for him in Seoul, South Korea, December 19, 2017. (REUTERS)
Tearful fans gather to visit the mourning altar for Kim Jong-Hyun, a 27-year-old lead singer of the massively popular K-pop boyband SHINee, at a hospital in Seoul. (AFP)
Tearful fans gather to visit the mourning altar for Kim Jong-Hyun, a 27-year-old lead singer of the massively popular K-pop boyband SHINee. (AFP)

“SHINee was one of the very first K-pop groups I ever became a fan of and it hurts to think that this is real. Rest in peace,” said one fan on Twitter.

“No words can describe how heartbroken I am... Rest in peace, Jonghyun,” another tweeted.

South Korean pop culture has conquered a large part of Asia over past decade with its K-pop stars topping charts across the region and its TV dramas enjoying huge popularity.

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