K-pop group SHINee to go ahead with Japan tour after Jonghyun's death; writes letters to fans

(From left) Members of K-pop boy band SHINee – Taemin, Key, Jonghyun, Minho and Onew performing at their SHINee World Concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Sept 10, 2011. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER
In his letter (not pictured here), SHINee member Key said the decision to continue with the tour "would be something Jonghyun-hyung wanted from us". PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/@BUMKEYK

Fans of Korean pop group SHINee will still be able to catch their idols live in Japan in February, in an announcement made less than a month after the death of lead vocalist Jonghyun.

Handwritten letters by the group's remaining four members were released on their official Japanese website on Tuesday (Jan 9), announcing their decision to carry on with their plans for the Japan tour.

Earlier in December, the group's management SM Entertainment said the group needed "a little more time" to decide whether to continue with the tour, adding that they were still mourning and "cannot accept this reality".

The Japan tour, called SHINee World The Best 2018 - From Now On, includes concerts on Feb 17 and 18 in Osaka and on Feb 26 and 27 in Tokyo.

In his letter, member Onew wrote: "I thought this wouldn't work, and that we wouldn't be able to perform. But Jonghyun's mother told us never to give up, and I believed that if we could give comfort to someone who is in longing and in pain, I should work harder even though I'm lacking."

In another letter, group member Key said the decision to continue with the tour "would be something Jonghyun-hyung wanted from us".

He also noted that 2018 is SHINee's 10th anniversary.

In their letters, the group also said they are determined to work hard for the tour, in memory of their late member Jonghyun.

The 27-year-old star, whose full name is Kim Jong Hyun, died on Dec 18 in a rented studio apartment in the upscale Gangnam district. Police ruled the case as suicide.

He left behind a final note that revealed his fight with depression and how he could not overcome "the sadness swallowing me up".

Kim's sudden death came as a shock to many fans across the globe, sparking debate over the intense pressure faced by K-pop stars.

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