Shinee singer Kim Jong-hyun: K-pop boy band superstar dies

Jonghyun of SHINee dies aged 27

According to the statement, the pop star (real name Kim Jong-hyun) was pronounced dead at a hospital after he was found unconscious at a residence in the Cheongdam-dong area of Seoul, South Korea.

Tributes flooded in on social media as news of Jonghyun's death spread. "SHINee's Jonghyun left us suddenly".

Police said they received a telephone call from his sister at 4:42 p.m. Monday, saying she thought he may have attempted suicide.

Inside the room police said they found burned charcoal briquettes; burning charcoal in an enclosed space is a form of suicide in many Asian countries.

Earlier this year, the group went on a world tour that took in the U.S. and released their fifth album, titled Five. "Tell me I did well".

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A funeral will be "held quietly with his relatives and company colleagues", said SM.

The messages read "This is my last farewell", "Things have been so hard", "Please let me go and say I did a good job", prompting his sister to make an emergency call to the police. His death is a blow to the massive worldwide fan base that Korea's "K-pop" music has attracted in recent years.

K-pop is the rage in Asia, especially in China and Japan, and the industry has made inroads in the West, with a song by the group BTS maintaining a spot on the Billboard 200 for a seven weeks as of the end of November. Kim also had a successful solo career as a singer-songwriter.

Korean pop music - or K-pop - is one of the most notable exports to come out of South Korea in the past decade.

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