Kim Jonghyun Dead: Lead Singer of K-Pop Group SHINee Dies at 27

Kim Jonghyun, the lead singer of the K-pop group SHINee, died on Monday, December 18, according to multiple South Korean reports. He was 27.

Jonghyun of South Korean boy band SHINee
Jonghyun attends the ‘SHINee World III’ press conference in Seoul, South Korea, on March 9, 2014. Han Myung-Gu/WireImage.com

Police told Yonhap News Agency that Jonghyun was found unconscious at a rented apartment studio in Cheongdam-dong in southern Seoul, South Korea, around 6:10 p.m. He was transported to a nearby hospital under cardiac arrest and received emergency CPR treatment but did not regain consciousness. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The cause of death is still unclear. Investigators told Yonhap News that the singer may have died of carbon monoxide poisoning as charcoal briquettes were discovered burning in a frying pan at his apartment. Jonghyun’s sister, who called first responders at 4:42 p.m., told authorities that she believed her brother had died by suicide after she received a text message from him that read, “I’ve had a hard time. Please let me go and say that I did a good job. This is my last goodbye.”

South Korean boy band SHINee
Onew, Taemin, Jonghyun, Minho and Key of the South Korean boy band SHINee attend the 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards red carpet in Hong Kong on November 30, 2012. Han Myung-Gu/WireImage.com

SHINee was formed in 2008 by the South Korean company SM Entertainment. The boy band consisted of five members: Jonghyun, Onew, Key, Minho and Taemin. They released six chart-topping albums in Korea and five in Japan, in addition to embarking on several world tours. Jonghyun launched a successful solo career in 2015 and collaborated with numerous other Korean artists.

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