Lead singer of South Korean boyband SHINee dies in suspected suicide age 28

The lead singer of popular South Korean boy band SHINee has died in a possible suicide, police said.

Kim Jong-hyun, better known by the stage name Jonghyun, was found unconscious at a hotel in Seoul on Monday and was pronounced dead later at a nearby hospital, according to reports.

Jonghyun pictured in 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. (Getty)

He was one of the five members of SHINee, who have had a string of number one hits in their home country.

Police said Kim’s sister told them that the singer had sent her text messages such as “Final farewell” and “I’ve had difficulties” before his death.

Police said they have not yet determined whether he killed himself.

(Getty)

Jonghyun shot to fame when the band was formed by K-Pop hit factory SM Entertainment in 2008.

As well as being a singer and an accomplished dancer, he played a large part in the group’s songwriting and production, and launched a successful solo career in 2015.

He has also made headlines for voicing his opinion on issues like the government’s education policy and for speaking out in support of LGBT rights.

Jonghyun with Shinee bandmates Min-Ho and Onew. (Getty)