Tribute to SHINEE’s Jonghyun
It has been almost two years since SHINEE’s Jonghyun has left this world. The singer who was born by the name Kim Jong-hyun was 27 years old when he passed away due to circumstances being investigated as a suicide. Although it’s not the first case of a K-Pop star’s death caused by suicide, Jonghyun’s death still shook the entire K-Pop music industry. Debuting in 2007, Jonghyun was the main vocalist of the South Korean boy band SHINee for nine years, releasing twelve albums with the group in both Korean and Japanese. He also participated in SM Entertainment’s project group, SM The Ballad, and was also known as a solo artist with one EP album Base, two compilation albums, Story Op.1, and Story Op.2, as well as one studio album She Is. He was regarded as one of the best vocalists in South Korea and had received praise for his artistic control and involvement in the production of his music.
Through his lengthy career in the high-pressure K-Pop industry, Jonghyun made many deep connections with his fellow artists and colleagues. Those connections have much extended even after his passing. In honor of the K-Pop star’s anniversary, a few of Jonghyun’s good friends and fellow artists have paid a special tribute to the K-Pop star, sharing their own memories with Jonghyun through their performances. Scroll down this article to find out which are the artists who performed a special tribute to Jonghyun!
Artist Son Seung-yon – Y Si Fuera Ella
On March 25th, 2018, the singer and former winner of The Voice Korea, Son Seung-yon, appeared on episode 146 of MBC’s King of Masked Singer by covering the song “Y Si Fuera Ella,” originally sung by the late SHINee’s Jonghyun. The singer appeared by character name The East Invisibility, shaking the audience with her soothing performance in the memory of SHINee’s Jonghyun passing.
Listen to this clip below to hear Son Seung-yon’s version of “Y SI Fuera Ella!”
SUPER JUNIOR’s Kyuhyun – Y Si Fuera Ella
Following the singer Son Seung-yon, Jonghyun’s label mate SUPER JUNIOR’s Kyuhyun also appeared in MBC’s King Of Masked Singer, on the September 25th, 2019 episode. In that episode, Kyuhyun performed his version of “Y Si Fuera Ella.” Later, the SUPER JUNIOR maknae revealed to have a very special reason behind his choice of song.
Kyuhyun was attempting to claim his 6th consecutive title as King, and for his performance, he decided to perform Jonghyun’s solo track “Y Si Fuera Ella” from SHINee’s first full album The SHINee World.
Although he, unfortunately, was dethroned by a vote of 46 to 53, he expressed his surprise and happiness at being the first male idol king on the show.
“I thought my win streak didn’t match my skills. So I felt a little burdened winning consecutive times. But at the same time, I was very happy to be able to show off my singing through the show, I feel very grateful,” Kyuhyun stated in the show.
MC Kim Sung-joo then mentioned that Kyuhyun had a special reason for selecting “Y Si Fuera Ella” as his song for the week.
He then explained, “Y Si Fuera Ella is Jonghyun’s first solo song. I didn’t have many friends (in SM) because my trainee period was so short. But he was one of my friends.
I was in the military when the incident (his passing) happened, I cried so much. I thought of why I couldn’t express my feelings first, and I wanted to tell him ‘Jonghyun, hyung worked very hard to sing your song’ someday on a music broadcast,” he concluded.
While talking about this, Kyuhyun started to tear up, but he finished his thoughts, “Tears are coming while talking about this. Jonghyun did you listen to it well?”
Watch Kyuhyun’s performance of “Y Si Fuera Ella” below.
IU – A Gloomy Clock
One of SHINee’s Jonghyun’s close friends, IU, is the next singer who paid tribute to the late K-Pop star. IU performed an emotional tribute to her late friend Jonghyun at a recent concert.
At her 10th anniversary concert in Singapore in December 2018, IU deviated from her planned set-list to dedicate an especially meaningful song to Jonghyun’s memory. The two singers were known to have been close, with IU once describing Jonghyun as one of her best friends.
During the concert, which took place almost exactly one year after Jonghyun’s tragic passing on December 18th, 2017, IU remarked in English, “The next song actually wasn’t on my set-list, but I prepared it because I’ve been thinking about this one a lot recently. This song has been a great comfort to me since the moment I met it.”
She then announced, “I’ll change my mic,” and switched the purple handheld microphone that she had been using for one in SHINee’s official color, pearl aqua.
“I really hope this song will reach the person I really miss,” said IU, before launching into a beautiful live rendition of her song “Gloomy Clock,” which was famously composed by Jonghyun. IU has mentioned in the past that she fell in love with the song immediately after hearing it and that she begged Jonghyun to let her buy it from him.
Fans also speculated that IU may have changed the song’s lyrics to mention Jonghyun during her performance, singing “Jonghyun shines” at one point instead of the original line “things quickly pass by.”
IU and Jonghyun previously sang the song together as a duet at his solo concert “THE STORY by JONGHYUN” in 2015.
Lee Hi – Breathe
It’s not a secret that singer Lee Hi was a close friend of late SHINee’s Jonghyun.
At the 32nd Golden Disk Awards, the singer began crying as she sang “Breathe,” a song which was written by Jonghyun and carries a deep emotional connection for Lee Hi.
She eventually had to stop singing for a whole minute, looking visibly overcome with emotion after singing the line “No one will blame you.” The orchestra continued to play behind her and she caught up to the song, after gaining her composure.
Her performance was immediately after a heartwarming tribute video was shown, in dedication to Jonghyun. The video had messages from Girls Generation’s Taeyeon, EXO, and Jonghyun’s fellow bandmate, SHINee’s Key.
The heartfelt, emotional messages came from some of Jonghyun’s closest friends. The tribute video selected a few lines from their original messages posted soon after his funeral.
Here are the few translations of the messages:
“My life’s top artist. He was a friend, a hyung, a colleague. He was Jonghyun-hyung. You’ve done well with everything. I love you so much.” — SHINee’s Key.
“I’m so sorry for not being able to hug you as much as I wanted. I love you, I’m sorry and I’m also thankful. I miss you so much, I want to hold your hands.” — SNSD’s Taeyeon
“A true artist, Jonghyun sunbae-nim. We miss you so much and love you so much. We will forever remember you.” — EXO