After SHINee’s Singer Committed Suicide, the Group Kept Touring — With an Empty Mic Stand on Stage

Remaining members of SHINee
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Kpop boy band SHINee recently lost their lead singer, Jonghyun, to suicide.  The group decided to continue touring — without pretending everything was okay.

Kpop is a very highly competitive field, and there’s increasing concern about its effects on young performers. Boy bands typically train for years before they can step into a stage.  And once they make it, the pressures of relentless touring, fan communication, and recording can lead to disastrous burnout, depression, or worse.

SHINee, formed in 2008,  is one of the most successful K-pop boy bands.  The five member group of SHINee included Onew, Key, Minho, Jonghyun, and Taemin, though that number has been sadly pared down to four.

It was in December of last year that Kpop fans woke up with some really bad news.  SHINee’s lead vocalist, Kim Jong-hyun (aka ‘Jonghyun’), had taken his life.  A coal briquette found burning inside a frying pan in his apartment confirmed the suicide.  A long battle with depression had taken a toll on the Kpop idol.

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A final letter revealed by Dear Cloud’s Nine9 after Jonghyun’ s death further confirmed the suicide.  Jonghyun talked about his deep, dark thoughts, and requested that his final words be uploaded after his death.

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SHINee continued with their series of concerts in Japan after their loss.

But instead of terminating their tour, the boy band successfully completed their dates — as a foursome — including a recent date in Osaka, Japan.  It was an extremely moving concert.  The group dedicated the show to their late member, with red roses pinned to their shirts during the performance.

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The group walked off the stage after leaving the roses on Jonghyun’s mic stand.  SHINee told their thousands of fans in the concert that they will always be ‘forever 5’.

Updated: a fan at the show has told us (below) that the group members placed their roses on their own stands, instead of putting them all on Jonghyung’s.  One single rose was left on Jonghyung’s mic stand, and all four remaining members exited the stage with roses on their stands as well.

Minho offered a heartfelt remembrance: “To be honest, I was very afraid today,” the SHINee member relayed.  “But I was able to overcome it because I wasn’t alone but with you guys.  I will continue to happily promote, thinking that five of us are on stage together.  I ask that you guys remember Jonghyun forever. He’s a precious existence that cannot be described in words.”

Key expressed his love and sadness when he looked up at the sky and said “I Love You” in English.



11 Responses

  1. A

    The headline of this article is poorly written and the article itself is not accurate.

    SHINee did not “successfully completed their dates — as a foursome — concluding in Osaka, Japan”. They completed two concerts in Osaka on Feb 17 & 18 and will be performing their remaining concerts in Tokyo on Feb 26 & 27.

    From a fan who was there this is how it was: “Members had a red rose attached to their chests, and there was a rose attached to the middle standing microphone. After the song finished they all left their rose on the standing microphone and left”. They didn’t put their roses on Jonghyun’s standing mic but on theirs and left the stage. In this way all five standing mics had a rose as if Jonghyun was with them and left with them the stage after the song they sang together ended.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Thanks A. Yes, from our understanding these dates were already scheduled and the group decided to continue onward. But we were not at the show, so thank you so much for clarifying the red roses on the mic stands arrangements.

    • Anonymous

      Well explained. I salute you for correcting inaccurate reports about our most loved and cared SHINEE.

  2. Boss

    Also Jonghyun wasn’t the leader but the lead vocalist. Lee Jinki aka Onew is the leader.

  3. Angry and irritated

    You need to change the headline to “After SHINee’s Lead Vocalist’s Death, the Group Decided to Continue Their Japanese Concert — With an Empty Mic Stand on Stage”.

    There’s no need to re-emphasize that he committed suicide. Everyone knows and is n the body of this article. The way you headlined this is as if they blatantly disrespected Jonghyun and just kept touring. Jonghyun’s mother gave them blessing to continue the concert in his memory.

    • Anonymous

      Agree, this headline is definitely the most disrespectful one I’ve seen.

  4. XOXO

    I just stopped to watch “ring ding dong” mv for the first time. And it’s also my first time not laughing when listening to it. I feel so bad and want to cry but the tears won’t just come out.RIP jonghyun I was never a fan until now ?

  5. Anonymous

    this article and its headline are disgusting and insensitive. the writer clearly knows nothing of this group or its members. shameful.

  6. Chris

    I am a long time fan of SHINee and I think this article was written very well. I don’t know why there are so many negative comments. Thanks for posting.

  7. Josie

    we lost a beautiful soul. It was sad to hear about his death. I’m a great grandmother, my heart felt prayers still go out to his family. I still listen to them on my phone. so wish him peace and there is always an Angel looking down at them, always in their hearts. God Bless them all. Stay Strong SHINee.