Shinee members and fans have taken to social media to remember late singer-songwriter Jonghyun (Kim Jong-hyun) on his birthday.
Born April 8, 1990, Jonghyun performed with members Onew (Lee Jin-ki), Key (Kim Ki-bum), Minho (Choi Min-ho) and Taemin (Lee Tae-min) in the vastly popular second-generation K-pop group Shinee for nine years as their main vocalist. He was well-known for his vocal range which spanned over three octaves, for his talent as a composer, producer and as a successful solo artist.
On Dec. 18, 2017, Jonghyun was found dead inside his apartment from self-induced carbon monoxide poisoning at the age of 27.
Before his passing, the last song he released was titled “Lonely” and featured vocals from fellow SM Entertainment singer and Girls Generation member Taeyeon. The ballad’s lyrics described a persisting loneliness that wouldn’t go away, which fans speculated may have been signs of deep depression.
Jonghyun’s family would start a charity a year later in September 2018 called the Shiny Foundation in his memory and to help young artists who are also struggling.
Shinee fans, called Shawols, continue to flood Twitter with videos and photos of Jonghyun along with happy birthday wishes. Onew and Key also uploaded a photo and video with messages for him to their Instagram accounts.
Shinee leader Onew called him “The best artist in my life.”
Key, meanwhile, poked fun at Jonghyun as usual with a video of him engulfing an entire choco pie and stating his desire to share his “pretty face” with everyone. He expressed how much he misses him and how the number of videos and photos he can upload of him are gradually getting smaller.
On the fourth anniversary of his death, Minho posted the last picture he took with Jonghyun.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. For a list of international suicide hotlines, click here.