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.
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.”
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.