Kim Jong-hyun (April 8, 1990 – December 18, 2017), better known mononymously as Jonghyun, was a South Korean singer-songwriter, record producer, radio host, and author under the label SM Entertainment. He was the main vocalist of the South Korean boy band Shinee for nine years; releasing twelve albums with the group, in Korean and Japanese. He also participated in SM Entertainment's project group SM the Ballad for the release of two EP albums.
Jonghyun was also a solo artist, beginning in January, 2015, with the release of his first EP album, Base. It peaked at number one on both the Billboard World Album Chart and the Gaon Album Chart. On September 17 the same year, Jonghyun released a compilation album, Story Op.1. His debut studio album She Is was released on May 24, 2016, followed by his second compilation album, Story Op.2 on April 24, 2017. Jonghyun began his first solo concert tour, titled "The Story by Jonghyun" on October 2, 2015. This was followed by three further concert tours in later years. He was regarded as one of the best vocalists in South Korea. He has also received praise for his artistic control and involvement in the creation of his music, which are rare in K-pop.Jonghyun remained musically active as main vocalist of Shinee and as a solo artist until his death on December 18, 2017, when he committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. His final album, Poet | Artist, was released posthumously on January 23, 2018. It was announced, prior to the release, that all profits from the album would be given to Jonghyun's mother and be used to start a charity foundation. In September 2018, the Shinin Foundation was established by Jonghyun's family to help struggling young artists.
He is also known as Kim Jong-hyeon.
In December 2017, Jonghyun rented an apartment in Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam District in southeastern Seoul for two days. He checked in at 12:00 PM KST on December 18, 2017. Later that day, at 4:42 PM, Jonghyun's older sister, Kim So-dam, made an initial call to emergency responders, reporting that she believed he intended to commit suicide, because he had sent her a number of messages on KakaoTalk with words such as "last goodbye" and "say I did well". He was last seen at a convenience store next to his apartment.
Jonghyun was found unconscious in his apartment by the police and rescue workers at around 6:10 PM. He was immediately brought to Konkuk University Hospital in a state of cardiac arrest. He received emergency CPR treatment. However, he failed to regain consciousness and was pronounced dead at the hospital at around 6:32 PM, aged 27. Investigators believe he died from inhaling either toxic fumes or smoke, as they discovered coal briquettes burnt on a frying pan upon arriving at the apartment. The police stated that, at the request of Jonghyun's family, a post-mortem would not be carried out, and they declared his death a possible suicide.
Jonghyun's funeral was held in Asan Medical Center's funeral hall in Pungnam-dong, Seoul, starting the afternoon of December 19. Celebrities, such as BTS, IU, BoA, Girls' Generation, and Exo, and fans attended the three-day public funeral. Moreover, international fans also paid tribute to the singer around the world. On December 21, following the public funeral, Jonghyun was moved from the hospital to a private funeral attended only by his family and close friends, and was then laid to rest in an undisclosed location.