December 18th marks one of the darkest days in recent K-Pop history as the world woke up to the news of Kim Jonghyun’s death. The SHINee vocalist passed away due to self-inflicted carbon monoxide poisoning and the aftermath is something many fans are still feeling to this date. Today sees one year since Jonghyun’s death and despite the news of mental health and suicide now slowly coming to light in K-Pop; this day has been a celebration of his music and achievements. In a special edition of Music Video Breakdown, UnitedKpop pays tribute to Jonghyun’s full video discography and celebrates his life in visual and music.

2008: Official Debut

Jonghyun made his debut with SHINee with “Replay” back in 2008 and before long, the group were soon monster rookies and cemented their place as a contemporary R’n’B group. During their first year, they also released “The SHINee World” which housed two additional hits; “Love Like Oxygen” & “A.Mi.Go”.

2009 – 2010: Rocketing to Stardom

SHINee soon began to carry more conceptual ideas with their music with the releases that followed 2009; beginning with the glittery romantic style of “Juliette” and the pastel jeans that soon blew up Korean fashion during the year. The concepts were soon kicked up a notch as we saw a darker side with the angelic style created by “Ring Ding Dong”.

The infectious track became a stable for SHINee and began their rocket up to stardom. Their music videos became infamous within the older generation of fans but “Ring Ding Dong” is not the only track that launched them far from the pretty image made during “Replay”.

“Lucifer” was released in 2010 and the repackage, “Hello” soon followed but the swift change to a mature image caught attention almost immediately and proved the group’s versatility while still keeping the charm of previous years.

2013 – 2014: Concept Wonderland

The music videos soon held a trademark beauty for SHINee as they showcased a fun style to showcase the group’s immense talent. “Dream Girl”, “Why So Serious?” and “Everybody” are fine examples of these as they all implemented a different style; prop dances, powerful vocals and heavily intricate choreography – all in different styles from Alice In Wonderland & humanoid soldiers.

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2015 – 2016: Genre Shift

SHINee were not only stars of concepts but they are always one for trying new styles; with the release of “Odd”, and “1of1″/”1and1”, they moved to a style reminicenent of 90s boy bands in various eras; rough bad boys, slick gentlemen and heartbroken men.

The Solo Works

“Tell Me What To Do” soon became Jonghyun’s last active promotion as a SHINee member but that wasn’t his only contribution to the world. He also performed as a solo artist which all began with “Base” in 2015. His first single, “Guilty Pleasure” followed a more mature style of his original SHINee image but as the songs continued, we began to see different sides to the artist and became immersed in the stories he told.

As a contribution, we have compiled the addition music videos of his solo work; including the “Story” projects and the fun “She Is” which is known for its deep saturation and quirky style that only the SHINee member can pull off.

However, as we all now know; this story soon came to an end with Jonghyun’s passing on the 18th December 2018 but SM Entertainment carried his legacy with the post-humorous album, “Poet | Artist” at the start of this year along with the shining star’s curtain call. As he sings, he will always be with fans around the world and this video is the perfect send off as we see Jonghyun enjoying what he has a passion for: singing and smiling back at us one last time.

As we explained earlier, UnitedKpop wishes to celebrate Jonghyun’s life through his music and our thoughts & love go out to the fans who have grown with this incredible artist. We also thank Jonghyun for all his contributions to music and for becoming a true shining light in K-Pop. You did well and we are eternally grateful.


If you were affected by anything mentioned in this article, you can contact Mind on 0300 123 3393 or Samaritans on 116 123.

For further information on mental health, check Mental Health Foundation’s guide here.

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