Jonghyun, Member of K-Pop Group SHINee, Dies at 27

Authorities are investigating his death as a possible suicide

Jonghyun, also known as Kim Jong-hyun, a member of the K-pop group SHINee, has died. He was 27 years old.

According to the Associated Press, Jonghyun was found unconscious in a residence hotel in Seoul and was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

According to local police, the singer’s sister said he sent her text messages such as “Final farewell” and “I’ve had difficulties” before his death.

While his death is being investigated as a possible suicide, authorities have not yet determined whether he killed himself, according to the AP. Korean news agency Yonhap said police found burned coal briquettes in a frying pan in the room — coal briquettes produce carbon monoxide.

SHINee, comprised of five members, was formed in 2008 by SM Entertainment. Debuting as the main singer of SHINee, Jonghyun also made a career as a solo singer-songwriter. His last public appearance was at his solo concert on Dec. 9-10 in Seoul.

SHINee recorded six albums in Korea and five for the Japanese market. The fifth album was released in Japan last February. The band also appeared in two films “I AM” in 2012 and “SMTown: The Stage” in 2015. The group was scheduled to perform in Tokyo and Osaka in February.

SM Entertainment issued an official statement following the death of Jonghyun, writing, “Jonghyun was the best artist who loved music more than anyone and always worked hard for his performance. It is devastating to deliver such sad news to the fans who gave him great love.”

Fans were quick to share their condolences on Twitter.