Kim Jong-hyun (April 8, 1990 – December 18, 2017), better known mononymously as Jonghyun, was a South Korean singer-songwriter, record producer, radio host, and author under the label SM Entertainment. He was the main vocalist of the South Korean boy band Shinee for nine years; releasing twelve albums with the group, in Korean and Japanese. He also participated in SM Entertainment’s project group SM the Ballad for the release of two EP albums.
Jonghyun was also a solo artist, beginning in January, 2015, with the release of his first EP album, Base. It peaked at number one on both the Billboard World Album Chart and the Gaon Album Chart. On September 17 the same year, Jonghyun released a compilation album, Story Op.1. His debut studio album She Is was released on May 24, 2016, followed by his second compilation album, Story Op.2 on April 24, 2017. Jonghyun began his first solo concert tour, titled “The Story by Jonghyun” on October 2, 2015. This was followed by three further concert tours in later years. He was regarded as one of the best vocalists in South Korea. He has also received praise for his artistic control and involvement in the creation of his music, which are rare in K-pop.
Jonghyun remained musically active as main vocalist of Shinee and as a solo artist until his death on December 18, 2017, when he committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. His final album, Poet | Artist, was released posthumously on January 23, 2018. It was announced, prior to the release, that all profits from the album would be given to Jonghyun’s mother and be used to start a charity foundation. In September 2018, the Shinin Foundation was established by Jonghyun’s family to help struggling young artists.