K-Pop Star Jonghyun Dead at 27 in Possible Suicide
Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.
Kim Jong-hyun (known as Jonghyun), the lead singer SHINee, one of South Korea’s most popular boy bands, died on Monday at the age of 27, according to a statement from SM Entertainment.
BBC reported that police are investigating suicide as a possible cause of death. The singer sent a goodbye text message to his sister before he was found.
Jonghyun had started a successful solo career in 2015. According to Vogue, he was known for being outspoken about LGBT rights. SHINee, a five-member boy band known as the “the princes of K pop,” was formed in 2008. SHINee played their first North American tour in 2017.
In South Korea, an average of 40 people died by suicide every day. It is estimated that 90 percent of those who died by suicide had a mental illness, but the Health and Welfare Ministry estimates that only 15 percent of those who’ve died previously received treatment for their mental health.
SHINee fans took to Twitter to remember Jonghyun:
Mental illnesses are never something to be belittled or made fun of. Suicide is almost always not just a one time thought. It has been pondered upon, calculated, debated. And I’m so heartbroken and sorry for Jonghyun who was not able to receive required help in time. Rip love
— Eris (@merakiri) December 18, 2017
Heartbreaking news coming from South Korea today that Jonghyun has passed away. The 27-year-old was a member of K-pop act SHINee and a successful solo artist. He was a true talent and creative, and will be dearly missed. I'm still having trouble taking in the news. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/MdURLjsB8I
— Jeff Benjamin (@Jeff__Benjamin) December 18, 2017
— SHINee~ssi ? (@JINkeyLLme) December 18, 2017
If this news is hard for you, know you are not alone — and there is help for people who are feeling suicidal. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world. You can find a list of hotlines in South Korea here.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.
Lead photo via SHINee’s Facebook page