Culture&Arts

Shinee singer Kim Jong-hyun: K-pop boy band superstar dies

Shinee singer Kim Jong-hyun: K-pop boy band superstar dies

The cause of death is now unknown, but police told BBC that they are investigating suicide as a possibility.

The genre has become one of the defining icons of Korea and forms a major part of what's been called the Korean Wave, or hallyu, that has made South Korea a global player in culture, in addition to electronics, cosmetics, and other industries.

SHINee, sometimes referred to as "The Princes of K-Pop", released their fifth album, Five, earlier this year and toured Japan through April.

"Tell me I did well", and, "Final farewell", the star said in the messages, according to South Korean media.

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He was taken to a nearby hospital suffering from cardiac arrest but was later pronounced dead, the news agency Yonhap reported.

Unconfirmed reports say the singer died from inhaling toxic fumes from coal briquettes burning on a frying pan.

In accordance with his family's wishes, Jonghyun's funeral will be held as quietly as possible, and SM Entertainment has arranged a separate time and location for fans to pay their respects today, beginning 12 p.m. KST, at Seoul Asan Hospital. They're one of only a handful of K-pop groups to find worldwide success. "On December 18th, SHINee's Jonghyun left us very suddenly".

Kim also launched a solo career in 2015, with his debut studio album "She Is" peaking at No. 1 on the South Korean charts.