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Korean Pop Superstar, SHINee Singer Jonghyun Found Dead at 27

Today is a sad day for lovers of K-Pop and effeminate Asian twinks in general. Jonghyun, lead singer of K-Pop band SHINee, was found dead today at age 27.

SHINee is one of South Korea’s most popular boy bands, so Jonghyun was basically the Harry Styles of South Korea. Here’s one of their music videos, for their hit song “Hello”, in case you’re not familiar with the group.

It is not hard to see why this band is so popular. They’re all cute and non-threatening, and they’re pretty good singers, too. Their label, SM Entertainment, made a statement on Jonghyun’s death:

This is SM Entertainment.

We are sorry to be the bearer of such tragic, heart-breaking news.
On December 18th, SHINee’s Jonghyun left us very suddenly.

He was discovered unconscious at a residence in Chungdam-Dong, Seoul and was rushed to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead.

Our sadness cannot compare to the pain of his family, who had to say goodbye to a son and a brother, but we have spent a long time with him, and the SHINee members along with the SM Entertainment staff are all in deep mourning and shock.

Jonghyun loved music more than anybody else and he was an artist who did everything to perform his absolute best on stage.

It breaks our heart to have to bring this news to fans who loved Jonghyun so much.

Please refrain from reporting on rumors and guesswork so the family of the deceased can honor him in peace.

As per the wish of the family, the funeral will be held quietly with his relatives and company colleagues.

Once again we show our deepest condolences to Jonghyun on his last journey.

– SM Entertainment

The “rumors and guesswork” line is most likely in reference to reports that Jonghyun took his own life. The Korea Herald reports that he was found with coal burning in a frying pan and that police are investigating his death as a suicide.

It’s not easy to be a pop star in Asia. We generally expect celebrities to act like idiots and real people in the West, as evidenced by the fact that teenaged girls are still lining up to see Justin Bieber in concert after all of his well-documented douchebaggery. In Korea and Japan, celebrities are generally expected to be beacons of moral virtue, especially idol singers. In 2013, Minami Minegishi, a singer in Japanese pop band AKB48 (which is called that because there are 48 women in the band, seriously), shaved her head and gave a tearful apology for committing the serious crime of having a boyfriend. It’s a lot of pressure to be under, and it’s a shame Jonghyun didn’t think he had any other way to escape from it.

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