SEOUL: K-pop singer Kim Jonghyun's death today may have been suicide.
According to Reuters, South Korean police found the 27-year-old lead vocalist of boyband Shinee unconscious in his Cheongdam-dong apartment, Gangnam, after his sister filed a police report around 6.10pm local time.
He was immediately taken to the Konkuk University Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Police are investigating his death, and have not ruled out suicide.
“We have confirmed Jonghyun’s death and investigations are on-going,” a Gangnam police statement said.
"Jonghyun was discovered at his apartment on the 18th floor, with lit coal briquettes in his room.”
It is learnt that Jonghyun's elder sister reported to police at 4.42pm that he was attempting suicide with brown coal briquettes lit inside a frying pan. He also wrote her a suicide note.
Thousands of fans have taken to social media to mourn the loss of the singer.
"He wrote one of my most favourite K-pop songs, Breathe. He had so much more to give. I'm so sorry he was in so much pain to do this. RIP Jonghyun," tweeted one.
Another wrote: "I really don't know what to think but I do know that my heart is broken. Rest in peace Jonghyun."
Jonghyun was one of the founding members of nine-year-old Shinee, and also wrote its songs.
Early this year, the band released its fifth Japanese album, Five.
Shinee has been called the Princes of K-pop due to its members' stylish dance routines, strong vocals and chart-topping hit songs such as Sherlock, Replay, Ring Ding Dong and Dream Girl.
Jonghyun launched his solo career in 2015 with his first EP, Base. A year later he released his debut album She Is.
He released his second compilation album, Story Op. 2 in April.