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More than two-dozen countries have now reported hundreds of cases among them
Kim Jong-Hyun, a 27-year-old lead singer of the massively popular K-pop boyband SHINee, was found in a Seoul hotel room on Monday in what police said was suicide. Photo: Vogue1 SEOUL: A top K-pop star bemoaned feeling "broken from inside" and "engulfed" by depression in a suicide note, it emerged Tuesday, as his death sent shockwaves among fans worldwide. Kim Jong-Hyun, a 27-year-old lead singer of the massively popular K-pop boyband SHINee, was found in a Seoul hotel room on Monday in what police said was suicide. Kim's close friend, musician Nain9, released a suicide note on Tuesday on her Instagram account, saying he had asked her to publish the message in the event of his death. "I am broken from inside. The depression that gnawed on me slowly has finally engulfed me entirely," it said, adding he "couldn´t defeat it anymore". "I was so alone," he went on. "The act of ending is difficult. I´ve lived until now because of that difficulty." "Please tell me I did a good job," he implored, ending the note with: "You´ve worked hard. You´ve really gone through a lot. Goodbye." Five-member SHINee debuted in 2008 and went on to lead the "Korean Wave" that saw South Korean pop culture develop followings across Asia and beyond. Known for peppy songs and carefully-choreographed dance numbers performed with military precision, SHINee have become one of the world´s best-known K-pop acts. The band have released five albums that swept charts at home and abroad, with some topping the US Billboard World Albums chart. The band´s agents SM Entertainment -- which dominates K-pop and has several other top acts under its wings -- said Kim´s funeral would be held on Thursday. "Other members of SHINee, as well as other artists at our company, are all mourning his death amid deep sorrow and shock," it said in a statement. Many other K-pop stars at the firm cancelled public appearances to visit the mourning altar at a Seoul hospital where his body lies, with hundreds of tearful fans also in attendance. "It looks certain that it was a suicide," police told a briefing. "So we plan to close the case without autopsy as requested by the family." Ultra-competitive society Social media was flooded by thousands of messages of mourning, with photos showing throngs of fans sobbing near a makeshift memorial set up outside the Korean embassy in Santiago, Chile. Kim was pronounced dead shortly after being moved to a hospital. A coal briquette was found burning on a frying pan in the room where he was found -- a common method of suicide in South Korea. The country -- known for its ultra-competitive society -- has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, with the deaths of public figures and celebrities often making headlines. K-pop stars go through cutthroat competition and gruelling, years-long training by their agents, who dictate everything from the artists´ music style to diet regimen and even mobile phone use. Many are also pressed to maintain squeaky-clean and wholesome images at all times, smiling throughout their public appearances and staying away from "troubles" such as romantic relationships. Kim earlier sent his sister several text messages saying "This is my last farewell" and "Please let me go and say I did a good job", prompting her to make an emergency phone call to police.
Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal and defending champion Novak Djokovic, on 4 June, surged into the French Open quarterfinals for a record-equalling 11th time. But, apart from the feat, their progress into the tournament also promised a potential showdown between the two in the semi-finals of the men's singles category. With all eyes on their quarterfinal clashes, the fans were hoping to see the two icons get the better of their opponents before facing each other in what appeared to be their reunion at the Roland Garros. © Reuters While Nadal moved into his 10th French Open semi-final after overcoming his opponent Pablo Carreno Busta (thanks to his retirement due to abdominal problems), Djokovic, too, was expected to edge past Dominic Thiem in his quarterfinal clash. However, contrary to popular perception and to the utter dismay of tennis fans, the World No. 2 Serbian suffered a shock loss at the hands of his Austrian counterpart, quashing hopes of his reunion in the semi-finals with Nadal. © Reuters Djokovic was rolled over with remarkable ease by the 23-year-old World No. 7, who when they met in last year's semi-final had won just seven games. This time it was a 7-6, 6-3, 6-0 triumph for Thiem who will now square off against the Spaniard in the semi-finals. It was the first time that Djokovic has dropped a love set at a Grand Slam since the 2005 US Open. It was an unusual sight to see the great Serb battler, who had little answer to Thiem's kicks serve, so utterly flat at the end. © Reuters Djokovic's defeat also meant that Nadal will now overtake him as World No. 2, and he could possibly fall to No. 4 if Stan Wawrinka manages to reach the French Open final. Here's how Twitter reacted to the ouster of the defending champion: Federer in 2013. Nadal in 2015. Djokovic in 2017. The 3 giants of their era all fell into very dark places. The first 2 rebounded. — Matt Zemek (@mzemek) June 7, 2017 This is a crazy sport. 12 months ago Djokovic commanded all he surveyed. 12 months later he's slamless and in an arid mental wilderness. — Chris P (@scoobstennis) June 7, 2017 This is the first time since July 2011 that Djokovic will drop out of the world's top 2. Almost six years. Pretty impressive run. — Gaspar Ribeiro Lança (@gasparlanca) June 7, 2017 A year ago, Djokovic had won four straight Slams and made 23 of 24 Slam SFs. All four titles go undefended, only once reaching SFs. #rg17 — Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 7, 2017 Waking up to see that Djokovic lost...I was really looking forward to his match with Nadal. Oh well, it's probably for the better — Mo'nique (@Monikeeka) June 7, 2017