Jonghyun was laid to rest in a private funeral in Seoul, South Korea on Thursday.
Breaking down in tears, Kim So-dam, the late K-pop star’s sister, carried a framed portrait of a smiling Jonghyun as she led the procession outside the Asan Medical Centre. Jonghyun’s SHINee bandmates — Onew, Key, Taemin, and Minho — honored the singer by carrying his coffin to an awaiting hearse alongside members of Super Junior, the BBC reported.
Jonghyun (real name Kim Jong-hyun) died Monday at the age of 27, joining a group of esteemed musicians whose lives ended at the ripe age. Investigators later ruled Jonghyun died by suicide, and details about his death have emerged as fans across the globe mourn the loss and create makeshift tributes celebrating his legacy.
“I’m broken from the inside,” he wrote in an apparent note, which Nine9 (né Jang Hee-yeon), his fellow pop star and friend, shared on Instagram. “The depression that has slowly eaten away at me has finally consumed me, and I couldn’t beat it.”
Nine9 explained on social media that she tried to help Jonghyun with his “dark and deep thoughts,” but that “it only delayed his passing and did not prevent it,” adding, “Beautiful Jonghyun, I love you so much.”
Speaking with Yonhap News Agency, Yoon Dong-hwan — who runs Nine9’s management group, MYmusic Entertainment — reportedly said that Jonghyun’s family approved the release of Jonghyun’s emotional goodbye. “It’s not clear exactly when it occurred, but when Jonghyun sent this [to Nine9], it was immediately passed on to his family,” said Dong-hwan. “After the tragic incident, we discussed whether or not to make it public. The family decided to reveal it.”
Jonghyun also confided in his sister, who reportedly told police that he sent her text messages reading “Final farewell” and “I’ve had difficulties” prior to the discovery of his body.
After his success with SHINee, the singer-songwriter pursued a solo career in 2015. Jonghyun’s label, SM Entertainment, said in a statement Monday that he “loved music more than anybody else and he was an artist who did the best to perform his absolute best on stage.”
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