SHINee’s Jonghyun: The Meaning of the Rose Symbol and the Scandal Involving The Rose

What Is Behind the Viral Rose and SHINee’s Jonghyun?

SHINee’s Jonghyun was the talented lead singer of the second generation K-Pop idol group SHINee from SM Entertainment. His voice was widespread through the youth.

The news of his death halfway through December 2017 caused shock almost all over the world. Not only Shawol, the fan-base name of SHINee, but others were also concerned about his sudden death due to suicide from depression.

This tragedy led to a large mass of rose icons showing love for Jonghyun. In this Channel-Korea article, you will learn more about the rose symbol and the scandal involving the rose. Stay curious!

SHINee’s Jonghyun and the Rose Symbol

The rose icon and Jonghyun have significant story meaning. After Jonghyun took his life with carbon monoxide poisoning in his apartment, many people became concerned about mental health and showed their support and love for Jonghyun.

This rose icon started a viral trend on the net after somebody used it as an illustration to expose their care, support, love, and respect for Jonghyun. Alongside his life as an idol, Jonghyun enjoyed many artistic hobbies. He was full of talent in songwriting, authoring, singing, and dancing to name some activities.

His dedication and hard work were difficult to forget, and the rose icon gained traction along the sudden news of Jonghyun leaving this world. Shawols and masses of people uploaded and even tattooed the image to show the rose on social media or any publication they had.

Respect, love, and support all became part of the rose’s symbol for Jonghyun. The hashtag #roseforjonghyun on social media became the mark of the event.

SHINee’s Jonghyun and the Rose Illustration


The rose illustration which went viral was made by an unknown artist and was not originally for Jonghyun. So, Shawols intended to use a new one for this particular reason that is free to reuse. Any other rose illustration is also good to use as long as the artist allows it to.

Here’s is the rose icon which is legal to use:


The rose was made by @Yaizamh (Twitter account). The 5 leaves represent SHINee and Jonghyun is the rose.

The Controversy of The Rose Using Instagram Images of Jonghyun

The controversy happened when The Rose, a South Korean band, allegedly combined Jonghyun’s Instagram images with their music video. They used his images to decorate the set of their video for the song “She’s in the Rain.”

The song “She’s in the Rain” tells a story of depression and sadness. This made Shawol and others argue and take offense to their actions. One fan said that Jonghyun does not represent depression and sadness because he wants to be remembered as someone who is loved, dedicated, and hard-working.

Moreover, The Rose seemed to not have permission to use Jonghyun’s images from SM and Jonghyun’s family. This led people to be angrier over their inappropriate activity.

The Rose’s Apology and Explanation Behind Jonghyun’s Instagram Images

After The Rose’s MV for “She’s in the Rain” led to controversy over several days, the management took down the music video. The polaroid photos of Jonghyun’s Instagram pictures as their props caused damage.

On October 16, 2018, J&Star Company finally released an official apology regarding the issue. They explained that the issue came up because of enormous analysis and discussion regarding the meaning behind the song and everything related.

They explained that they collaborated with Beat Logic. The song hoped to provide comfort to people struggling with loneliness and heartlessness. The song sent a message to stay hanging on until happier days come. They used Jonghyun’s Instagram images as a remembrance and for the relation to the message of comfort.

They admitted that they did some ignorant actions, but it was not intentional. J&Star apologized for the incident wholeheartedly.

Shawols Were not Pleased with The Rose’s Explanation

After the clarification and apology letters, some Shawols still felt unhappy with the explanation. They still questioned why the production team did not think about the consequences when deciding to use images from Jonghyun’s Instagram as props.

On the other side, some Shawols were challenged by other Shawols to always think on two sides of the story and analyze again what The Rose representative said. The incident made the director of the MV also apologize for his carelessness, and he promised to be more careful.

The Meaning of Jonghyun and the Rose Icon Now

Now, the controversy regarding The Rose and Jonghyun’s images has been fully resolved. The rose icon is for a good remembrance of Jonghyun. It is a tribute that portrays his hard work, talent, passion, and love for all that he did. If you care and support Jonghyun’s legacy, focus on the rose as good memories of him.

So, that’s everything. In your opinion, what is the best thing about Jonghyun’s legacy? Please put your comment below and share it on Twitter as well!