Shinee singer Kim Jong-hyun: K-pop boy band superstar dies


The lead singer of popular South Korean boy band SHINee has died in a possible suicide, police said.

He was taken to hospital after being found unconscious in an apartment in Seoul, according to reports.

The Associated Press reported on Monday that Jonghyun's sister told police that the singer sent her text messages reading "Final farewell" and "I've had difficulties" prior to the discovery of his body, though authorities have not yet determined a cause of death.

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The singer, whose full name is Kim Jong-hyun, was reportedly lying in a room with a coal briquette burning on a frying pan, a common method of suicide in South Korea.

SHINee was formed in 2008 by SM Entertainment and had five members: Jonghyun, Onew, Key, Minho and Taemin.

A funeral will be "held quietly with his relatives and company colleagues", said SM.

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Mike Suh, head of strategy and global business at entertainment conglomerate CJ E&M, says idols go through a long training period "so that they immediately attract fans when they first appear". Stars typically can't be seen dating, getting plastic surgery, or become embroiled in any kind of scandal, Tamar Herman, who covers K-pop for, told CNN earlier in 2017. He launched a successful solo career in 2015.

South Korea has the highest suicide rate among developed countries.

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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