SHINee lead singer and K-Pop star Kim Jong-hyun has died in what police believe was a suicide. He was 27 years old.
The star, who was known as “Jonghyun,” was reportedly found unconscious Monday inside a Seoul hotel. He was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Jonghyun’s sister called police after she received a series of “troubling text messages” from her brother, The Associated Press reported.
"Please let me go. Tell me I did well. Final farewell," one of the texts read, according to the Yonhap news agency. Authorities found burned coal briquettes, which produce carbon monoxide, in a frying pan in Kim's hotel room, Rolling Stone reported.
SM Entertainment, the entertainment company behind SHINee the record label, released a statement after Jonghyun’s death.
"We're sorry to deliver such heart-aching, unfortunate news. On December 18, SHINee member Jonghyun left our side unexpectedly,” the statement reads. “He was found unconscious at a residential hotel in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul and was rushed to a nearby hospital but was declared dead on the evening of the 18th."
SHINee, a five-member band that has been hailed as “the princes of the K-pop scene,” have gained millions of fans around the world and enjoyed a string of number one albums in South Korea since being formed by entertainment company, SM Entertainment, in 2008, according to Rolling Stone.
Jonghyun also had a successful solo career as a singer-songwriter. He produced three albums over the past three years.
“The deep sorrow cannot be compared to ones of his family who had to let go of their loving son and brother but the employees and artists of SM Entertainment, also in deep shock and sorrow, are offering condolences," the entertainment company’s statement continued.
"Jonghyun was the best artist who loved music more than anyone and always worked hard for his performance... We ask you to refrain from making rumors or assumptions based on reports in respect of his family who are in deep sorrow from the sudden news. As his family wished, his funeral will be carried out in the quietest manner with his family members and co-workers."
Numerous fans have taken to Twitter to express their deep sadness at the loss.
If you or someone you know may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, Call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255