K-pop star Kim Jong-hyun laid to rest in private funeral

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Kim Jong-hyun
Kim Jong-hyun, lead singer of South Korean boy band Shinee. (REUTERS/Yonhap)

Korean pop star Kim Jong-hyun has been laid to rest in a private funeral Thursday following his apparent suicide earlier this week. The singer’s SHINee bandmates, as well as members of the group Super Junior, honored the fallen celebrity by carrying his coffin.

Kim’s sister led a procession outside the Asan Medical Center for the popular South Korean icon while carrying a framed picture of him. His co-members in the band SHINee, Onew, Key, Taemin, and Minho, helped carry his coffin, alongside Super Junior’s Leeteuk, Eunhyuk, and Donghae.

SM Entertainment, the label of both SHINee and Super Junior, released a statement expressing gratitude to all the fans who showed support for the singer and his grieving family.

“Jonghyun’s final path was not lonely thanks to so many people’s love and comfort,” said the label. “Jonghyun’s music and passion, and all of the exceptional sides that he showed as an artist, will be in our hearts forever.”

Kim passed away Monday from what authorities have ruled as suicide. The singer was found unconscious at a private hotel after his sister contacted police because of a text message from him that suggested that he wanted to commit suicide. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

In an emotional note left by the pop star, he cited his ongoing fight with depression as one of the burdens he was carrying. “I’m broken from the inside,” wrote the 27-year old singer. “The depression that has slowly eaten away at me has finally consumed me, and I couldn’t beat it.”

The note was made public by fellow pop star Nine9 on Instagram, a decision which Nine9’s management said had been approved by Kim’s family.

Kim’s band SHINee was founded in 2008 and quickly became one of the biggest Korean pop groups, enjoying massive popularity not just in the country but even across Asia and many other countries.