Kpop star Jonghyun's suicide reveals depression, perils of fame

Kpop fans mourn SHINee singer Jonghyun, who killed himself in his apartment on Monday.

    2017/12/21

NSFW    SEOUL — Kpop star Jonghyun from popular idol group SHINee has died in an apparent suicide, highlighting the pressures of super stardom in South Korea.

The Korea Herald reports that the singer's sister had received foreboding 'farewell' messages from him on Monday afternoon and alerted emergency responders. They found the 27-year-old unconscious in his apartment and rushed him to the hospital, where he later died.

Jonghyun had been in the public spotlight for almost a decade, and had been struggling with depression. In a long suicide note sent to a friend, he wrote that his doctor blamed him for his condition, citing his personality.

The Korean entertainment industry is notorious for being high-pressure.

Kpop idols sign on at a young age and are subjected to intense training. Agencies control every facet of their lives, from what they wear and eat, to who they communicate with.

High standards are set for the stars' public behavior and appearance, but even so, they are often judged and nitpicked on social media.

Jonghyun's suicide warns of the dark side of fame, and the ruthless conditions in the industry that desperately need to be changed.
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