Singapore fans of SHINee singer Kim Jong Hyun stunned by news of his death

SHINee singer Kim Jong Hyun (top right) was in Singapore with the rest of SHINee and South Korean girl group Red Velvet as ambassadors of South Korean duty-free retailer The Shilla Duty Free at Changi Airport's Terminal 4 (T4).
SHINee singer Kim Jong Hyun (top right) was in Singapore with the rest of SHINee and South Korean girl group Red Velvet as ambassadors of South Korean duty-free retailer The Shilla Duty Free at Changi Airport's Terminal 4 (T4). PHOTO: THE SHILLA DUTY FREE SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Singapore fans are shocked by the death of SHINee singer Kim Jong Hyun, who was just in town last month.

The South Korean pop star, who died on Monday (Dec 18), was here with the rest of SHINee and South Korean girl group Red Velvet as ambassadors of South Korean retailer The Shilla Duty Free at Changi Airport's Terminal 4 (T4).

Those who attended the press conference at T4, as well as their performance later in the evening at Suntec Convention Centre, said Jonghyun, as he is better known as, seemed to be in good spirits.

The spokesman for SHINee's fan club, who wanted to be identified only as Ning, said: "When SHINee visited Singapore for the Shilla Beauty concert last month, we had the opportunity to meet them at the press conference and watch their stage performances.

"Jonghyun was extremely friendly, smiley and talkative. As fans who have watched him for the past eight years, we know he does not like the hot weather and we were surprised that he kept up his enthusiasm until the end of the show for his Singapore fans."

Several members of the fan club, which is called Forever_SHINee, also travelled to Seoul to watch Jonghyun's solo concert on Dec 9 and 10.

Ning added that the singer never shied away from showing his love and care for his family members and fans. "His warm heart always reminded us to love and care for people around us, people who we are close to and love us."

After news of his death, official SHINee social media accounts changed their profile photos to a black square or circle. Fans who call themselves "shawol" shared their grief online by writing tributes and sharing hashtags such as #RosesForJonghyun.

Many were still stunned by the news of his sudden death.

Local singer-songwriter Jessica Irawan, 34, said that she was still in shock and disbelief.

"His music is one of the reasons why I got hooked on listening to K-pop," she said. "My siblings and I have been huge fans of SHINee for so long. Jonghyun has a really powerful and soulful voice that I really like and he's also a very good songwriter and musician. Rest in peace Jonghyun and stay strong SHINee and Shawol."

Singer, songwriter and actor Benjamin Kheng from pop band The Sam Willows tweeted that he saw Kim perform recently. "RIP jonghyun, i'm sorry for this cruel world", he wrote. It has been retweeted more than 3,500 times.