Quick Take: Remembering Jonghyun

Quick Take: Remembering Jonghyun

News of Jonghyun’s death shocked the world. The SHINee member reportedly took his own life via carbon monoxide poisoning in a hotel room he’d rented for two nights.

An integral part of SHINee’s songwriting, Jonghyun was also an accomplished solo artist and award-winning radio host. He’d just completed one of many solo concert series, INSPIRED, which had taken place on December 9 and 10 at the SK Olympic Handball Stadium.

We here at The Kraze are firm believers that a person should be remembered for who they were in life, instead of solely focusing on how they died. In that spirit, our staff wanted to take some time to reflect and remember some of our favorite memories of Jonghyun.

If you or someone you know is struggling with severe depression or suicidal thoughts, please reach out to someone. A list of international suicide hotlines can be found at ibpf.org.

Khanh Tran

It’s still very difficult and painful for me to piece together words of how I feel about this news. It’s one of those moments where I couldn’t really believe it, then the realization hit me like a tidal wave. It feels like I’m experiencing all five stages of grief at once. I’ve known that he’s had depression for quite some time, but it’s just still so hard to understand and cope. On Blue Night, he talked about having those late nights not being able to fall asleep, but used those moments to write some of his most beautiful songs he shared in his albums. During those times, I wished I could be there to comfort and support him when he was lonely.


Kim Jonghyun was my first K-Pop bias. His beautiful voice and luminous stage presence were what attracted me to him. His humor and quirky personality were what made me fall in love with him even more. I remember watching Hello Baby and always laughing at his silly parts as he tried to connect with baby Yoogeun. Whenever I couldn’t sleep or needed comfort, I watched fancams of him and listened to his soft, loving voice on Blue Night. It always made me feel like he understood my sadness and reminded me that I wasn’t alone.

I only got to see SHINee in concert twice. The first time was my first K-Pop concert, and I had seats really far from the stage, but I didn’t care since I was in awe seeing Jonghyun and all of SHINee on screen. The second time I saw him live was at the 2014 LA Korea K-Pop Festival and I was so happy to score tickets in the pit. And this fancam I recorded for Euphoria JH fansite will be one personal memory I won’t ever forget of him. I got to see him shine right in front of me and see how happy he was performing with his members.

Although I haven’t been part of the SHINee World for awhile, it doesn’t take away the memories and love I had for Jonghyun. He gave me so much comfort and joy that I hadn’t felt before I joined the fandom. Him opening up about his emotions and personal thoughts gave me strength to press through the difficult times of my own depression. He was a role model that showed me passion and love through music. I looked back on an old video I created for his birthday and my words about Jonghyun still ring true to this day.

Kim Jonghyun—my bling bling, my dino puppy. Thank you so much for everything. It’s so emotional to see a shining star leave this world, but now he’ll be one of the brightest stars that will always look over his SHINee members, family, and the Blingers that have loved him so much.

Rest in my peace, my dearest. You’ll always be forever in my heart.

Sab Ali

I don't know where to start. A creative genius, a meticulous artist, a fashion icon, a lovable dinosaur. None of those words even begin to describe Jonghyun. He was the first one I picked from SHINee and even though he contested with Taemin, he always came through. With incredible potential and unparalleled talent, it hurts to see him gone.

It's heartbreaking to even think about the emotional turmoil he went through that led to his decision. I just wish he knew that we are all standing beside him. While we won't have anymore of his extraordinary artistry, no more Listerine jokes, we are still able to remember his influence on the world of K-Pop. It will hurt, it does hurt, to see SHINee standing tall as four, but for all his presence will still take a place in our hearts.

Thank you for all that you have shared with us, your music, your smile, your talents. Although the world is mourning right now, the world is a better place because of you. You will never be forgotten, Jonghyun. Thank you for everything.


Where to even begin? SHINee was one of the very first few groups who I was exposed to in K-Pop. I remember their debut during my middle school years, and at the time I wasn’t into them right when they started (I had only just seen pictures and not listened to any music) until a friend sat me down and told me to watch their music video for “Replay.” From then on, I was sold. Jonghyun has always caught my attention. His phenomenal vocals always sent chills down my spine, and his high notes just always left me in awe. He was extremely talented not only with his vocal powers but in creating music not only for SHINee but for himself and others as well. He has made big waves in the K-Pop industry and will never be forgotten. He was an inspiration to many.

There are so many memories that it’s hard to just name one or a few. I’m very thankful that I’ve gotten to see SHINee and Jonghyun, live in concert, and I will cherish that memory forever. But my favorite memory will be of Jonghyun smiling the countless times he was on stage. He forever is my SHINee bias, and I will remember him as his smiling self who simply loved music to the fullest.

My heart hurts and I’m very saddened to know that we have lost our “Bling Bling” Jonghyun. My heart and condolences go out to his family, the SHINee members, friends, Shawols, and other loved ones. Kim Jonghyun, your memory, your legacy and most of all, you and your ever shining self will always be remembered. I love you. We love you. Rest In Peace.

N. Ali

Jonghyun will forever be remembered for his uniquely beautiful vocals, skillful dancing, breathtaking smile, and his contribution to helping shape and progress the ever changing sound of K-Pop shown by the many compositions he has produced for other artists. Many may recall falling for him back in 2010 with SHINee’s release of “Hello” while others may know him from more recent releases such as “Déjà-Boo.”

Jonghyun’s depression was no secret. He spoke about it freely to the public, and this can even be traced as far back as 2013, such as the track “Depressed Clock” which he wrote and featured in with IU. While mourning in our individual ways, I took to relistening to many of Jonghyun’s tracks such as “Lonely” and “Hallelujah” but decided that we should celebrate his life and accomplishments instead of grieving his stage exit.

Remember a Jonghyun who loved dancing, remember that bright smile that accompanied his bright suits that people started associating with Listerine, and remember the times to which you  boogied along to “She Is,” “White T-Shirt,” or SHINee’s “Married to the Music.” Shawols must stay strong and warm our souls with the SHINee-ing light Jonghyun left in this world. Jonghyun, you are loved and will be missed.

Haley Whisennand

This morning’s news was beyond shocking. Along with being an undeniable presence on the stage, Jonghyun was such an amazingly talented individual behind the scenes as well. What I personally admired him for the most, though, was his courage in standing up for what he believed was right. Jonghyun was one of the few Korean entertainers who directly showed their support for equality and fought against injustices like child abuse.

Depression was something that Jonghyun was very open about, often sharing details about his struggle on his radio show, Blue Night. His voice was something that Korea needed. He was someone who spoke up when others wouldn’t. He fought for others’ freedom and happiness, even when he was struggling himself. That is the Jonghyun I admired, and that is the Jonghyun I’ll always remember.

Kayleen Burdick

When I woke up this morning and saw the news, all I could do was stare at my SHINee poster. SHINee was one of the first groups that got me into K-Pop. I always thought that Jonghyun had such a unique voice, and his hair color and style during “Ring Ding Dong” era was amazing. It was so cool to me that we had similar hair colors at the time. Recently, I was rewatching clips of them trying to wake up Onew on Hello Baby. I could watch those clips over and over again and never get tired of how adorable they were.

One of the first K-Pop dances I ever attempted to learn was “Lucifer.” One of the few K-Pop songs I learned on the piano was “Hello,” as well as the intro to it. Jonghyun was always smiling. He was such a bright personality. It deeply saddens me how many people who seem so cheerful on the outside struggle so much on the inside.


My deepest condolences go out to his family, friends, fans, and everyone who loved him dearly.

Jonghyun, you will be missed. You’ll forever be in my heart. We love you.

Savanah Fita

The first message I saw in my phone when I woke up this morning was not one I ever expected to see. SHINee’s Jonghyun was an undeniably talented and charismatic person whose voice captivated anyone that listened. Truly one of the best and most unique voices in K-Pop to me, it is so heartbreaking to know that he has left us unexpectedly. Depression affects all of us in one way or another, and its power can be ruthless. It’s going to take a long time to accept this great loss, and I really wish he was able to get the help he so needed. But nevertheless, all we can do is remember him for his immense talent and kind demeanor, and pray for all of those affected by this loss. I hope you rest peacefully Jonghyun.

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