A note said to be written by K-pop superstar Jonghyun has been posted on social media by his close friend, revealing a struggle with depression.
Pop artist Nine posted the note on Instagram. “I was broken from the inside. The depression that was slowly devouring me, at last consumed me,” it said.
Jonghyun, 27, was found dead on Monday in a suspected suicide.
He was the lead singer of one of South Korea’s biggest pop groups Shinee.
On Tuesday, Nine, a member of another pop group Dear Cloud, shared the note she said Jonghyun had sent to her, instructing her to make it public if he “disappeared from the world”.
Dear Cloud’s management Mymusic Entertainment confirmed to news agency Yonhap the note was posted after consultation with Jonghyun’s family.
It spoke about his struggle with living in the public eye, saying “the life of fame was never meant for me”.
“What else can I say more. Just tell me I’ve done well. That this is enough. That I’ve worked hard. Even if you can’t smile don’t fault me on my way.”
However, no details were given as to when the note was written or sent to Nine.
Fans on Twitter were quick to pick up on what many saw as the singer’s last request to them.
Jonghyun, whose full name was Kim Jong-hyun, was found unconscious in his apartment. He was taken to hospital where he was declared dead.
According to news agency AFP, he had sent several text messages to his sister, including one saying “this is my last farewell”.
Korean media, citing police sources, are suggesting authorities are treating his death as a suicide.
The singer was considered by many of his fans to be a very sensitive young man who did not embrace the hedonism of stardom.
As well as being a singer and dancer, he played a large part in the group’s songwriting and production. He also launched a successful solo career in 2015.
The management of Shinee, SM Entertainment, released a statement describing Jonghyun as someone “who loved music more than anyone”.
Fans were told they could pay condolences at a funeral home in Seoul on Tuesday.
Shinee were founded in 2008 as a five member group under SM Entertainment, and quickly rose to become of the biggest K-pop boy groups.
Conceived in South Korea in the 1990s as a Western-Asian hybrid, K-pop is now a multi-million dollar industry.
It is at the forefront of the so-called Korean Wave – the spread of Korean music, drama and film across Asia and worldwide.
Over the past years, Shinee recorded several albums in Japanese and in 2017 sold out the 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome and part of their Japan tour. Earlier this year, they also played their first North American tour.
If you are feeling emotionally distressed, here are details of organisations in the UK which offer advice and support.