I stared blankly at the news on top of my Facebook feed. In disbelief, still. Jonghyun may be a stranger but he is no eye stranger to many of us.
I’m personally a SHINee fan and their songs are still on replay on my playlist since college.
It’s very painful to write about this but still, with a heavy heart and the best that I can, here’re 10 facts about SHINee’s Jonghyun, the K-pop star who left us on 18 December.
1. Made his debut in 2008
Jonghyun shot to fame when his band, SHINee, was formed by SM Entertainment on 25 May 2008. He was only 18 years old when he made his debut with their classic hit “Replay”.
2. Special guest for this Sunday’s episode of JTBC’s “Night Goblin”
He was supposed to be the special guest for this week’s episode of JTBC’s “Night Goblin”, a Christmas special, alongside NU’EST’s JR. However, the video preview was then removed after the news of his death broke.
3. Well loved by fellow bandmate, Taemin
While Jonghyun is loved by many, especially his fans, he was also someone that fellow SHINee member, Taemin wanted to show off to others.
On a radio show on 7 December where Taemin was a guest for SBS LoveFM’s “Song Eun Yi and Kim Sook’s Unni’s Radio”, he mentioned, “I want to brag about member Jonghyun.”
He continued, “While rehearsing yesterday, I heard that Jonghyun was also preparing for his concert, so I thought I would cheer him on and go check on him.
“I watched him rehearsing live. I never really noticed it when we’re in a group together, but he’s such a professional.”
4. Highly praised by his high school teacher
In a New Year’s special in January 2017, SBS’s “Kim Young Chul’s PowerFM” launched a corner called “2017 Speak of Hope” where Seoul Music High School’s vice principal, Mr Jang Young Chan was invited to share his views regarding education.
Mr Jang shared that many of his school’s alumni have created a name for themselves in the music industry, including Block B’s Zico and SHINee’s Jonghyun, amongst others.
“I was a teacher too, but I learned diligence from Jonghyun. He greets earnestly every day, was never late, did all his homework, and was humble despite his exceptional musical talent. He was liked by all his teachers,” Mr Jang recalls.
5. He was a radio DJ
This talented man was the host for MBC FM4U’s “Blue Night” for three years and two months and it wasn’t easy for him to step down.
His segment officially hit the airwaves on 3 February 2014 and this is how the production crew at “Blue Night” sees him:
“Jonghyun is someone who really loves the radio. Throughout the three years he spent as the show’s DJ, he never once showed any signs of reluctance to come to work. He cares so much for ‘Blue Night’ that he even said, ‘I feel like I recover from my fatigue when I’m at the radio studio because it makes me feel so relaxed.’ We believe he is only taking a break to focus on his job as a singer and hope he will come back to the radio station.”
6. Reveals his struggles stepping down as radio DJ (Part 1)
On a broadcast of KBS 2TV’s “Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook” where Jonghyun appeared as a guest on 14 May, he revealed his struggles during the interview portion:
“At first, it didn’t feel real. It felt strange to be at home at that time of the day and I thought, ‘Is it okay for me to be doing this?’ [The show] meant a lot to me, but it also meant a lot to the listeners. Since it was a show that airs every day, I felt sorry to the listeners.”
“I cried a lot that day. The show runs for two hours, and I think I cried for half an hour.”
“My family sees videos of me crying and makes fun of me sometimes.”
7. Reveals his struggles stepping down as radio DJ (Part 2)
The reason why I’m not rephrasing this is because, it means so much to hear from Jonghyun himself.
During his radio show’s broadcast on 8 March, he announced his farewell to his listeners:
“When I first started hosting this show, I wanted to create a space where people, including myself, could set their hearts at rest, no matter where they were.
“Three years later, this space has grown into a whole world in itself. It taught me about so many things I’ve never experienced, and I’ve also revealed a lot to my listeners.
“This space allowed us to come together in one place regardless of where we were physically. Some people joined us from the other side of the world and at a different time, but we were still in the same space. Physical space had nothing to do with us, and I hope it continues to be that way.”
“Do you know the feeling when you find something you love so much that you’re not sure what you should do to take good care of it? ‘Blue Night’ has turned into something like that for me, and now I don’t now what to do.
I guess every beginning has an end. I have something to tell everyone today. For various reasons, I will be taking some time away from the physical space of ‘Blue Night.’ I thought my listeners should be the first ones to know. I will continue to be in the same spiritual space we created.“
“I apologize. I said I would stay for a long time, but [I had to do this] because of my schedule and health. I’m sure there will be a time when we can share our stories with each other again.
As I’ve always said, I have a certain mindset that I set for myself as a radio DJ. While I’m away, I will continue thinking about those things and polish myself before I come back. I will definitely come back.“
8. Unafraid to speak his mind towards government policies
He took his opinions to Twitter, criticizing controversial South Korean government policies.
He wrote, “Lowering the starting school age to promote childbirth… producing a government-issued textbook… With such policies, I am losing my confidence to have children who can grow into adults with healthy minds and bodies. I am not saying I will not have children. I am saying it is getting scarier to have children in the future now.”
To give you some context, Jonghyun is referring to the 2 controversial issues in South Korea where firstly, the South Korean government has stated that students will be taught history through a government-issued textbook. Many are unhappy because they believe that it is the president’s attempt to return education to the country’s authoritarian past.
Secondly, the South Korean government is also considering lowering the current entrance age (of 6 years old) into an elementary school for children, striving to help youth gain employment and raise Korea’s low birth rate.
9. Top 10 in Billboard World Albums Chart
Billboard released the chart of sales for all albums outside the United States for the week of 13 May and Jonghyun’s “Story Op.2” was at the 7th place.
‘The Collection: Story Op.2.’ is his second compilation album which contains 10 tracks he wrote, composed and arranged solo, with a little help from production teams such as MonoTree, SCORE, and others.
10. Sweetest guy next door
Jonghyun paid a visit to one of his fans as part of a special series designed to encourage all hardworking part-timers in their respective jobs. He didn’t just paid lip service but even helped her finish up the rest of her duties around the cafe.
He told her, “You’ve gone through a lot. You’ve worked hard again today.”
What’s there left to say? Watch their encounter here:
There’s so much about Jonghyun’s life I’m personally proud of and this article could go on and on. This honestly has been one of the hardest articles I’ve ever attempted to write.
To wrap things up, Jonghyun’s funeral will be held privately on 21 December, with only his friends and family in attendance.
Because Jonghyun has no male siblings, his other SHINee members Onew, Key, Minho, and Taemin will be taking on the role of sang joo (literally translated as “chief mourners”), a role that is typically performed in Korea by the closest male relatives of the deceased.
Our deepest condolences to Jonghyun’s family, friends and Shawols all over the world.
Since you’re here, why not watch a video about an NTU student who went all out to impress his crush, only to end up in…tragedy? Here, watch it and do remember to share it (and also subscribe to Goody Feed YouTube channel)!
This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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