Star’s suicide highlights dark side of the K-pop dream


Family members and friends of late SHINee singer Kim Jong-Hyun cry as they carry out his coffin during a funeral at a hospital in Seoul on December 21, 2017. -AFP

SEOUL: Known for its ultra-competitive, pressure-cooker society, South Korea has one of the world’s highest suicide rates. And this week the even higher stresses in the country’s lucrative showbiz industry took their toll on a K-pop superstar.

Kim Jong-Hyun, a 27-year-old lead singer of the hugely popular boy band SHINee, took his own life in a Seoul hotel room on Monday, with his death sending shockwaves through fans around the world.

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