The music industry is still reeling after the loss of one of k-pop’s most talented stars. Yesterday, reports confirmed Kim Jonghyun from SHINee passed away after an apparent suicide attempt. Tributes have been pouring in for the singer from around the world, and SM Entertainment has announced it is giving its most popular groups time to mourn.
A new statement from the company has announced that EXO’s upcoming album has been delayed in light of Jonghyun’s passing (via Soompi). The hugely popular group was set to release its 2017 winter album on December 21. The album, Universe, will now go live next week on December 26.
The announcement has been met with relief from fans. EXO and other SM Entertainment groups have been spotted at a public memorial set up for Jonghyun in Seoul. The hospital which the idol was taken to has set up a visitation area for fans, and the memorial gathered dozens of k-pop idols. Members from Super Junior, EXO, NCT, Red Velvet, BTS, Block B, VIXX, and more were seen slipping into the memorial yesterday.
Fans of EXO are aware that the band had close ties to SHINee and Jonghyun. In the past, D.O. said he would go to Jonghyun for vocal lessons as they both were lead vocalists for their respective groups. Suho has also referenced his close friendship with Jonghyun in interviews, and EXO was the first boy group to debut under SHINee at SM Entertainment. The groups’ mentor-protege relationship was a touching one, and fans are glad EXO is getting more time to mourn before they begin a new round of music promotions.
If you are not familiar with Jonghyun or SHINee, you should know the 27-year-old was a talented singer, songwriter, and producer. Kim Jonghyun debuted under SM Entertainment in 2008 with SHINee, and the vocalist helped the band become one of k-pop's flagship groups abroad. The group has topped charts in South Korea, China, Japan, and even the U.S. Jonghyun leaves behind a touching legacy which fans are now leaning upon, and our thoughts are with the singer's loved ones at this time.
You can show your support to SHINee, EXO, and the entire k-pop industry on Twitter. Find me @MeganPetersCB to share your favorite memories of Jonghyun and his celebrated career.