SHINee Lead Singer Kim Jong-hyun Found Dead After Possible Suicide

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The K-Pop world is in mourning. At the age of 27, Kim Jong-hyun, the lead singer of the popular South Korean boy group SHINee, unexpectedly died today.

The musician, better known as Jonghyun, was reportedly found unconscious in a hotel in Seoul; he was later taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

According to USA Today, South Korean news agency Yonhap said authorities found burned coal briquettes (or Yeontan, which is popular for cooking and home heating in South Korea) in a frying pan in the hotel room; coal briquettes have been known to cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

The police said that the singer’s older sister told them that Jonghyun sent her text messages prior to his death, ranging from “I’ve had difficulties” to “last goodbye,” further indicating that he took his own life.

So far, there’s been no official word from Jonghyun’s fellow SHINee members, Choi Min-ho (a.k.a. Minho), Lee Jin-ki (a.k.a. Onew), Kim Ki-bum (a.k.a. Key) or Taemin (a.k.a. Lee Tae-min), but some suggest that, upon learning the news, Minho passed out:

Our hearts go out to Jonghyun’s family, friends and fans at this difficult time. May he rest in the sweetest peace.