More than a thousand people turned up at Hong Lim Park on Wednesday (20 December) to pay tribute to Kim Jong-hyun, the main vocalist of K-pop group SHINee, who died on Monday.
The memorial event in Singapore for the South Korean star, better known as Jonghyun, was among several held in countries such as the Philippines, US, Mexico and Chile.
SHINee’s fans who were gathering at the park were mostly teenage girls and women in their twenties. Known as SHINee Worlds, the fans lined up in a quiet and orderly fashion to enter the main area at the Speakers’ Corner, where they left flowers, photos and stuffed toys.
They were also given Post-it slips to write messages for Jonghyun, after which volunteers started rallying the crowd to sing “Replay”, SHINee’s debut hit from 2008.
A number of fans started sobbing while singing, and even the volunteers found it difficult to continue with the song. After a few tries, they started singing again, with many waving their lightsticks, while others hugged each other and cried.
Jonghyun, 27, was found unconscious in a rented apartment by the police, who have since ruled his death a suicide.
A note left behind by the singer detailing his struggles with depression was released to the public by his friend, Dear Cloud’s Nine9.
One of the fans at the park was Miss L, a Singaporean in her mid-20s, who had travelled around the world to watch SHINee perform since their debut in 2008.
“Those who seem extremely positive and happy everyday… (it) doesn’t mean that they are not going through tough times,” Miss L told Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore, adding that fans knew about Jonghyun’s battle with depression.
“I feel that depression is getting very common among young adults these days, and more help should be given to people who are going through mental health issues.”
Raymond Ho, 28, said it was heart-warming to see Singapore’s K-pop community united in paying tribute to Jonghyun.
“SHINee was a big part of our journey in K-pop fandom and it’s really sad to see SHINee Worlds go through this.”
SHINee performed twice in Singapore this year – for the music program ‘Music Bank’ in August, and the Shilla Beauty Concert in November. The group held a standalone concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 8 December 2012.
Follow Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore on Facebook.