Best known as a member of the South Korean K-pop group Shinee, late singer/songwriter Jonghyun debuted as a solo artist in 2015.
Born Kim Jong-hyun in Seoul, South Korea, Jonghyun sang and played bass with various bands in high school. In 2005 he was discovered by S.M. Entertainment during their annual S.M. Casting System, which led to his placement in the group Shinee in 2008. Two years later he joined the splinter group S.M. the Ballad, and became a member of the all-star cast on "Let's Go," a single that promoted the 2010 G-20 Seoul Summit. In 2015 he launched his solo career with Base, an EP that featured guest appearances from Zion T, WheeSung, and Younha. The album topped the Billboard World Album chart, as well as the Korean Gaon chart, upon release. Months later, Jonghyun issued the singles compilation, The Collection: Story Op.1. That year, he also added author to his résumé, publishing the songwriting memoir Skeleton Flower: Things That Have Been Released and Set Free. His official full-length debut, She Is, arrived in May 2016, topping the Korean charts and rising to number four on the Billboard World chart. Story Op.2 landed the next year while Jonghyun was in the midst of an extensive tour. He wrapped production on another album and performed his last concerts in early December. A week later, on December 18, 2017, Jonghyun died of an apparent suicide at the age of 27. His second and final chart-topping album, Poet/Artist, was released in January 2018. ~ Neil Z. Yeung & David Jeffries, Rovi