K-pop superstar Jonghyun was found dead on December 18 in a suspected suicide.
Jonghyun, whose full name was Kim Jong-hyun, was found unconscious in an apartment. He was taken to hospital where he was declared dead.
Korean media, citing police sources, are suggesting authorities are treating his death as a suicide.
Jonghyun was the lead singer of one of South Korea’s biggest pop groups SHINee.
A note said to be written by Jonghyun has been posted on social media by his close friend, Nine, a member of another pop group Dear Cloud, revealing a struggle with depression.
Pop artist Nine posted the note on Instagram. It said: “I was broken from the inside. The depression that was slowly devouring me, at last consumed me.”
She said Jonghyun had sent the note to her, instructing her to make it public if he “disappeared from the world”.
Dear Cloud’s management Mymusic Entertainment confirmed to news agency Yonhap the note was posted after consultation with Jonghyun’s family.
The note spoke about his struggle with living in the public eye, saying “the life of fame was never meant for me”.
“What else can I say more. Just tell me I’ve done well. That this is enough. That I’ve worked hard. Even if you can’t smile don’t fault me on my way.”
However, no details were given as to when the note was written or sent to Nine.
Fans on Twitter were quick to pick up on what many saw as Jonghyun’s last request to them.
According to AFP, the singer had sent several text messages to his sister, including one saying “this is my last farewell”.
Jonghyun was considered by many of his fans to be a very sensitive young man who did not embrace the hedonism of stardom.
As well as being a singer and dancer, Jonghyun played a large part in Shinee’s songwriting and production. He also launched a successful solo career in 2015.
The management of SHINee, SM Entertainment, released a statement describing Jonghyun as someone “who loved music more than anyone”.
Fans were told they could pay condolences at a funeral hall at the hospital in Seoul, and were turning up there throughout December 19.
SHINee band was founded in 2008 as a five member group under SM Entertainment, and quickly rose to become of the biggest K-pop boy groups.
Conceived in South Korea in the 1990s as a Western-Asian hybrid, K-pop is now a multi-million dollar industry.
It is at the forefront of the so-called Korean Wave – the spread of Korean music, drama and film across Asia and worldwide.
Over the past years, SHINee recorded several albums in Japanese and in 2017 sold out the 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome and part of their Japan tour. Earlier this year, they also played their first North American tour.