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Fans Mourn Death of K-Pop Star Jonghyun

19 December 2017

Kim Jong-hyun, 27, was found unconscious next to burning briquettes on a frying pan inside a serviced residence in the South Korean capital Seoul, a police official told Reuters.

Kim Jong-hyun, who performed as part of the K-pop mega band Shinee, took his own life according to local reports.

Police said Kim's sister told them that the singer sent her text messages such as "Final farewell" and "I've had difficulties" before his death. He received emergency CPR treatment upon his arrival at a hospital but was later pronounced dead.

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Gangnam Police has since issued the following statement: "On December 18, 2017 at 4:42PM, Jonghyun's older sister reported to Police that her brother was about to commit suicide".

Jonghyun had also branched out on a successful solo career in 2015, performing two solo concerts in Seoul just this month, but he was the only original member of SHINee to participate in the band's reformation earlier this year, which coincided with their fifth album release.

Fans were invited to pay their respects at Seoul Asan Hospital Tuesday, ahead of a funeral which the family has requested to be held "as quietly as possible", according to SM Entertainment.

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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".

K-pop's success has also been dependent on a highly-polished image.

South Korea has one of the highest suicide rates among developed countries.

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Fans Mourn Death of K-Pop Star Jonghyun