Jonghyun, Lead Singer of K-Pop Group SHINee, Found Dead After Sending Concerning Texts to Sister

Police told BBC Korean Service that suicide will be investigated as a possible cause of death

Kim Jong-hyun, better known by the stage name Jonghyun, the lead singer of SHINee — one of K-Pop’s most popular boy bands — died Monday, according to a statement from SM Entertainment. He was 27.

“We are sorry to be the bringer of such tragic, heart-breaking news,” the statement from the South Korean entertainment company which represents the K-pop group wrote in a press release, according to Koreaboo.

“On December 18th, SHINee’s Jonghyun left us very suddenly. He was discovered unconscious at a residence in Chungdam-Dong, Seoul and was rushed to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead. Our sadness cannot compare to the pain of his family, who had to say goodbye to a son and a brother. But we have spent a long time with him, and SHINee members and SM Entertainment staff are all in deep mourning and shock,” the statement continued.

“As per the wish of the family, the funeral will be held quietly with his relatives and company colleagues. Once again we show our deepest condolences to Jonghyun on his last journey,” the statement added.

Han Myung-Gu/WireImage

Police told BBC Korean Service that suicide will be investigated as a possible cause of death, reported The BBC. Yonhap news agency reported authorities found burned coal briquettes, which produce carbon monoxide, in a frying pan in the K-Pop star’s hotel room.

According to The Guardian, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that before his death Jonghyun sent text messages to his sister that read, “Please let me go. Tell me I did well. Final farewell.”

Lee Jin-man/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Yonhap also reported that Jonghyun’s sister was the one to alert emergency services, according to the BBC.

The boy band, formed in 2008 by SM Entertainment, charted a string of No. 1 hits in South Korea and also became quite popular in Japan. Known for his songwriting role in the group, Jonghyun also launched a solo career in 2015.

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