[Newsmaker] Jonghyun's death sends shock waves through K-pop scene

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Police say the lead singer of popular South Korean boy band SHINee has died in a possible suicide.

Jonghyun, whose real name was Kim Jong-hyun, was found in a rented studio apartment in Cheongdam-dong, southern Seoul at 6:10 p.m., Monday. Police received a call from his sister around 4:42 pm. that he had sent a text message indicating that he was going to kill himself.

Police said Jonghyun was rushed to a hospital in a state of cardiac arrest.

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

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Korean pop star, Kim Jonghyun, asked his older sister to "let him go" shortly before his tragic death at the age of 27. "Tell me I did well", and "final farewell". He was taken to hospital after being found unconscious in an apartment in Seoul, according to reports. On December 18, SHINee member Jonghyun left our side unexpectedly.

His death is a blow to the massive worldwide fan base that Korea's "K-pop" music has attracted in recent years. The group, formed by SM Entertainment, shot to fame after the release of their debut EP, Replay, in 2008.

K-pop is the rage in Asia, especially in China and Japan, and the industry has made inroads in the West, with a song by the group BTS maintaining a spot on the Billboard 200 for a seven weeks as of the end of November. Jonghyun launched a successful solo career in 2015 and collaborated with numerous other Korean artists.