Jonghyun Suicide Note Points to Brutal Pressure of Korean Spotlight

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A farewell notice written by Korean pop star Kim Jong-hyun, made public Tuesday a day after his obvious suicide, factors to the crushing stress he felt from being a celeb in South Korea.

“I’m damaged from inside,” wrote Kim, higher often known as entrance man Jonghyun in Korean-pop sensation SHINee. “The melancholy that had been slowly consuming me up lastly devoured me and I couldn’t defeat it.”

The 27-year previous singer-songwriter was discovered unconscious at a non-public resort in Seoul on Monday and died within the hospital. Police are treating his dying as suicide.

The police mentioned that Kim’s older sister had acquired a textual content message from him Monday suggesting that he was going to kill himself. On Tuesday, an extended suicide notice was uploaded on the Instagram account of Nine, a musician with trendy rock band Dear Cloud. According to Nine’s administration, the notice was handed to her two weeks earlier than Kim’s dying.

Kim wrote that his physician had blamed his character for his incapacity to shake off the melancholy. Kim’s notice doesn’t specify what he had been burdened by, but it surely means that being a celeb added to the stress.

“Maybe I wasn’t supposed to come back up towards the world; possibly I wasn’t imagined to be recognized to the world; I’ve discovered that’s what [makes my life]tough. How come I selected that,” he wrote.

The Korean leisure trade is notoriously high-pressure. It fosters a “Hunger Games”-like work setting during which each colleague can also be a competitor and solely the strongest survive. Many proficient persons are recruited as youngsters, who will not be emotionally mature sufficient to deal with the self-discipline and the scrutiny. The Korean public units excessive requirements of conduct and bodily look, and makes use of social media to move on the spot judgment.

Since the late 1990s, when Korean pop, movie and TV dramas grew into an Asia-wide phenomenon, a number of different younger Korean skills have dedicated suicide. Many have left behind notes about how dangerous the trade is.

Korean-American singer Charles Park, recognized by his stage title Seo Ji-won, was one of many first K-pop celebrities to take his personal life, on Jan. 1, 1996. In his personal notice, he expressed concern concerning the sudden success of his debut album, and whether or not its follow-up, which he had completed recording earlier than his dying, can be equally profitable. He was 19.

Actresses and different feminine artists have additionally killed themselves, complaining of melancholy and disillusionment with the trade. Jang Ja-yeon, who had a supporting function within the Korean model of hit TV collection “Boys Over Flowers,” wrote in her suicide notice that she had been pressured to carry out sexual favors to so-called sponsors who assist expertise get roles in well-liked TV collection or movies.

A supply near actress Jeong Da-bin, who died in 2007, instructed the police that Jeong had been depressed over her lack of labor, the imprisonment of her earlier supervisor, and on-line assaults about her look.

Actress-turned-singer U;Nee hanged herself the identical yr. According to the police report, individuals near U;Nee acknowledged that she had turn out to be depressed by on-line criticism, particularly assaults over her attractive fashion.

The causes for Kim’s choice to kill himself should not but clear. The final phrases from one of many trade’s hottest acts, nevertheless, reveal a few of the darkish underbelly beneath K-pop’s attractive, glittering façade.

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