SHINee Wiki

"Even though we can't communicate using the same language, we use music instead." —Jonghyun

Kim Jong-hyun (김종현), better known by his mononym, Jonghyun, was a South Korean idol singer, dancer, composer, lyricist, promotional model, radio host and author. He was the main vocal of the group SHINee.


1990-2007: Early life

Kim Jong-hyun was born in Gwangjin District, Seoul, South Korea. He had one sister, two years older than him, named Kim So-dam.

In his teen years, he was the bassist for a high school band.[1]

2007-2017: Becoming a trainee at SM, SHINee, and solo debut

In 2005, he signed up for SM Entertainment as a trainee, and trained for three years.[2]

In 2007, he was featured in Zhang Liyin's song "Wrongly Given Love" (交錯的愛).

In 2008, Jonghyun made his debut as a member of the boy group SHINee, and was given the role of the main vocalist.

In 2010, he became a member of a new ballad group, SM the Ballad, formed by himself, Jay of TRAX, Jino and Kyuhyun of Super Junior. After which, they released their first mini album, S.M. The Ballad Vol. 1 – 너무 그리워 (Miss You), in November 29, 2010. After a change in the lineup their second mini album, S.M. The Ballad Vol. 2 – Breath, was released February 13, 2014.

At some point, in 2014, he began working on his first solo album. The medley for his new album, Base, was released on January 7th, 2015. The next day the music video for the promotional track, Crazy (Guilty Pleasure), was released January 08, 2015. Soon followed by the release of a performance at SMTOWN Theatre of Deja-Boo. A week after the medley's release, SMTOWN uploaded his dance practice version of Hallelujah.


According to police, Jonghyun was found unconscious in his home on December 18, 2017 at around 18:10 (KST). Jonghyun's sister, Kim Sodam, made an initial call to emergency responders at 16:42, telling them that she thought her brother was committing suicide. Kim received several text messages from her brother, such as "last goodbye". After Jonghyun's unconscious body was found, he was rushed to Konkuk University hospital, and given emergency CPR, but he failed to regain consciousness. Jonghyun was pronounced dead at the hospital at 18:32.

It was suspected that his death was suicide from inhaling either toxic fumes or smoke, as investigators found coal briquettes burnt on a frying pan when they arrived at Jonghyun's apartment. A letter written by Jonghyun, explaining his reason for suicide was released by his friend, with the permission of his family. The evidence surrounding his death remained circumstantial, as evidence related to the ruling of possible suicide heavily relied on text messages sent to his sister, alongside the letter released by his friend.

Jonghyun's body was visited by many people at the hospital, including his friends and family and over 500 fans. A three-day funeral was held, where his chief mourners were his fellow SHINee members, who also carried his casket, along with some of the members of Super Junior. His body was buried in a private resting place. Several Korean celebrities wrote farewell letters to Jonghyun too.


Year Album Title Album Type Sales
2015 Base Extended Play
2015 Story Op.1 Compilation Album
2016 She Is Studio Album
2017 Story Op.2 Compilation Album
2018 Poet|Artist Studio Album



Year Title Role
2012 I AM. as himself
2015 SMTOWN The Stage as himself


Year Title Channel Role
2014-2017 Blue Night Jonghyun MBC FM4u Main host

Concert Tours


South Korea

  • THE AGIT: 유리병 편지 (The Letter) - JONGHYUN (2017)
  • INSPIRED (2017)


To view the Jonghyun gallery, click here.


  • Regardless of anything, no matter how many times he had performed on stage, whenever he hears his own song he will still get exceptionally excited, will lip-sync along, dance along, fidget around in his seat, even when he chokes on water he will still remain engrossed.
  • Can play the guitar, bass and piano well.
  • Will tend to talk at a really fast speed when he gets nervous, but because he talks a lot usually, nobody ever notices that habit of his.
  • Has a lot of charisma on stage, but is very endearing and fun to be with off stage, before debut, he chats with Taemin everyday when returning home, is the member who is the most unanimous with his relaxation and lifestyle.
  • He was good friends with Red Velvet’s Yeri.
  • His blood type is AB