Celebrities both within and outside the realm of K-pop paid tribute on Tuesday (19 December) to the late Kim Jong-hyun, lead vocalist of South Korean pop group SHINee.
Better known as Jonghyun, the 27-year-old died after being found unconscious in his Seoul apartment by the police, who have since ruled his death as suicide. Following news of his passing, many of his friends and fellow celebrities shared messages expressing their shock and sadness on social media.
Singer-rapper Jay Park and actress Arden Cho, of Teen Wolf fame, were some of the many celebrities that shared condolences for Jonghyun’s family and friends.
Rest in Paradise to Jonghyun. Heart goes out to family, friends, and his fans. Stay up everybody, spread love and compassion
— JAY BUM PARK (@JAYBUMAOM) December 18, 2017
So many artists spend their lives entertaining & bringing joy to others while hurting inside. It’s a dark & painful industry.. heartbreaking to read such a sad letter. My condolences to Jonghyun & his family, may he be at peace.
— Arden Cho (@arden_cho) December 19, 2017
Electro house musician and producer Steve Aoki, who recently collaborated with K-pop group BTS for a remix of their song, MIC Drop, also posted a message.
Rest in Paradise Jonghyun
— All Night Aoki (@steveaoki) December 18, 2017
Peniel from Korean boy band BTOB also shared a message, reminding people to take care of their mental health as much as their physical health.
I did not know him personally but my thoughts and prayers go out to Jonghyun and his family/friends. I also hope this sheds light on the fact that mental health is equally as important as your physical health. If you or someone around you needs help; reach out! Let’s spread love!
— NIHS ˥ƎINƎԀ (@PenielShin) December 18, 2017
Rapper Dumbfoundead also called for South Korea’s entertainment industry to pay attention to mental health issues among artists.
R.I.P. Jonghyun of SHINee i go to Korea often and depression is a topic not often discussed, therapy is almost taboo cause of the country’s “just get over it” attitude. Hope this a wake-up call to the whole industry over there.
— dummies (@dumbfoundead) December 18, 2017
Benjamin Kheng of the Singaporean band The Sam Willows also shared a message on Twitter shortly after hearing about Jonghyun’s death.
to think it’s only been a week since i saw him perform (and he was amazing).
RIP jonghyun, i’m sorry for this cruel world
— Benjamin Kheng (@benjaminkheng) December 18, 2017
Lee Jonghyun of CN Blue uploaded a photo of him holding Kim Jonghyun’s hand onto his Instagram account, and used the same photo for his profile.
His message on his profile and post both read, “You have worked hard. You have really gone through a lot. Goodbye.”
Luhan, formerly of K-pop group EXO, posted on Weibo, saying, “I can’t believe it. I wish you well on your final journey, best singer.”
Singer Jo Kwon, formerly of 2AM, posted a photo of them performing together with Super Junior’s Sungmin and singer Kim Ji-ho on Instagram.
“We both made our debut in 2008, filled with the same desires to chase our dreams. I hope that you will not feel tired anymore. This shining boy has now become a star. Rest in peace,” he wrote.
Most of Jonghyun’s colleagues at his agency, SM Entertainment, have not been sharing anything on social media. However, all SM Entertainment artists have cancelled their events following his death, including Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon, Kangta, NCT, f(x)’s Luna and EXO’s Suho.
According to SBSPopAsia, TVXQ were the only artistes that were unable to reschedule their appearance on a live Japanese TV show, “Sukkiri”, where they were seen wearing black.
When asked about Jonghyun, member Yunho said, “We still cannot believe this, but after this show is over, we will go back to Korea to see him.” Fellow member Changmin said, “He was a great artist that had enormous talent and was like a little brother to me. It’s difficult to express our sadness in words.”
Catch a snippet of their appearance here:
— ︎ ▽・x・▽ (@sayu_urin33) December 19, 2017
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