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K-pop star Jonghyun says depression ‘engulfed me’ in suicide note

K-pop star's suicide note released as fans mourn

SEOUL: Top K-pop star Kim Jong Hyun bemoaned feeling "broken from inside" and "engulfed" by depression in a suicide note, it emerged yesterday, as his death shocked fans worldwide.

The 27-year-old lead singer of the massively popular boyband Shinee, widely known as Jonghyun, was found in a Seoul hotel room on Monday in what police said was suicide.

Police have ruled out an autopsy, and the funeral is scheduled for tomorrow.

"It looks certain that it was a suicide," the police said.

"So we plan to close the case without autopsy as requested by the family."

Jonghyun's close friend, musician Nain9, released a suicide note yesterday on her Instagram account, saying Jonghyun had asked her to publish the message in the event of his death.

"I am broken from inside. The depression that gnawed on me slowly has finally engulfed me entirely," it said, adding he "could not defeat it anymore".

"I was so alone," he went on. "The act of ending is difficult. I have lived until now because of that difficulty."

"Please tell me I did a good job," he implored, ending the note with: "You have worked hard. You have really gone through a lot. Goodbye."

Five-member Shinee debuted in 2008 and went on to lead the "Korean Wave" that saw South Korean pop culture develop followings across Asia and beyond and have become one of the world's best-known K-pop acts.

Shinee have released five albums that swept charts, with some topping the US Billboard World Albums chart.

MOURNING ALTAR

Many other K-pop stars at SM Entertainment - the band's agent - cancelled public appearances to visit the mourning altar at a Seoul hospital where Jonghyun's body lies, with hundreds of tearful fans also in attendance.

Social media was flooded by thousands of messages of mourning, with photos showing throngs of fans sobbing near a makeshift memorial set up outside the South Korean embassy in Santiago, Chile.

Jonghyun was pronounced dead shortly after being moved to a hospital. A coal briquette was found burning on a frying pan in the room where he was found - a common method of suicide in South Korea.

K-pop stars go through cutthroat competition and gruelling, years-long training by their agents, who dictate everything from the artists' music style to even mobile phone use.

Many are also pressed to maintain squeaky-clean and wholesome images at all times, smiling throughout their public appearances and staying away from "troubles" such as romantic relationships. - AFP