K-pop Industry and Community Devastated by the Unexpected death of Jonghyun, Lead Vocalist of SHINee

On December 18, police confirmed the death of Kim Jonghyun, aged 27 through suicide shocking fans throughout the whole world. Jonghyun was found dead in his apartment in Cheongdam-dong Seoul, its location he kept hidden even from his sister.

SHINee is one of Korea’s most known and loved K-pop groups leading the second generation of the Hallyu wave with hits such as Ring Ding Dong, Lucifer and Sherlock renowned for their unique sense of fashion, experimental music, complex dance moves and commendable live performances. It is incredibly numbing that Jonghyun’s passing is close by to SHINee’s 10th anniversary which is in the coming new year.  Living up to his nickname ‘Bling Bling Jonghyun’, Jonghyun has certainly brought light and touched the hearts of many with his unforgettable smile, angelic voice, overwhelming passion and stage presence.  Jonghyun is a star that will never lose its shine.

Courtesy of shineeverybody.wordpress.com

Depression is an illness that swallows from the whole and no matter how much an individual seeks for help it is never enough to suffice. This was the case for Jonghyun as he revealed in his final letter to the world released by Dear Clouds’s Nine9 at his request. In his letter, Jonghyun conveyed regret of living the life of a celebrity, hoping that he succeeded in his life as well as describing the torment and darkness he went through. The envied life of fame is something one can only dream of but at the end of the day a celebrity is just the same as a passerby on the street at the sacrifice of privacy and a normal life. We only see so much of them and will never know who they truly are, what they truly feel and what they are going through. The routine and life of a K-pop celebrity has often been criticised from their diets to their sleep. Additionally suicide and mental illness are still a taboo in Korea though it has the highest rate of suicide in the world. To total these issues, we cannot imagine the struggle Jonghyun had to carry. A glimpse of his misery can be seen in his song ‘Lonely’ and other tracks he sung and self-composed.


Courtesy of PBS, translation of Jonghyun’s letter posted by Dear Cloud’s Nine9 on Instagram as @run_withthewolf

Jonghyun’s presence in this world will definitely be missed and will affect many people especially the fans of Jonghyun, SHINee (Shawols) and the K-pop community. Please do not end your life because of this. If anyone is going through a hard time right now or contemplating suicide please talk about it.  Keeping your feelings to yourself is toxic and destructive. So many other people go through pain, suffering,  grief and so much more just not in the same way but there is always someone to hear you out, please remember that. Services you can always contact include Lifeline Australia 13 11 14, Headspace 1800 650 890 and Beyondblue 1300 22 4636.

In respect of Jonghyun’s death, his record label SM Entertainment has cancelled the schedules of SM artists so they could attend his private funeral and mourn for him. The members of SHINee are set to lead the mourning, a role traditionally given to family members but we’re sure the members of SHINee were like family to him. However, fans can be pay their respects to a separate location arranged by SM and for fans who cannot physically visit Jonghyun, fans have spread an image of a hand holding a rose with the hashtag #RosesForJonghyun. Through social media, many artists have also sent their condolences including Jay Park and fellow labelmates ex-Exo members, Tao and Luhan. Artists paying their respects in the funeral include BTS, Super Junior and Girls Generation.

Photo Credit of Allkpop
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