Kim Jong-hyun: Shinee star dies amid an unforgiving K-pop industry

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The 27-year-old singer was one of the beautiful, well-drilled entertainers who make K-pop so thrilling – and who are often treated miserably by their management companies

The death of Kim Jong-hyun of South Korean boyband Shinee marks, if not definitely the end, then a crushing blow to one of the country’s most enduring pop outfits. With their earnest, keeningly romantic songs, paired with immaculate choreography, Shinee marked the apotheosis of their country’s boyband craft.

While in the west there have only been a handful of successful boybands in recent years, in Korea and Japan – where Shinee also had a huge following, leading to a string of Japanese-language albums – the appetite for ultra-emotional ballads and energetic dance tracks, performed by impossibly beautiful and well-drilled young men, is apparently insatiable.

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Music | The Guardian

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