Kim Jong-hyun, a member of South Korean K-pop group SHINee, poses for the media before a showcase for the group's album "1 of 1" in Seoul, South Korea, on October 4, 2016. Yonhap news agency said the singer sent a final message to his sister asking her to "let me go".
The singer was found with a burning coal briquette nearby. "The depression that had been slowly eating me up finally devoured me and I couldn't defeat it".
Mike Suh, head of strategy and global business at entertainment conglomerate CJ E&M, says idols go through a long training period "so that they immediately attract fans when they first appear". They released six chart-topping albums in Korea and five in Japan, in addition to embarking on numerous world tours. SHINee have been called the Princes of K-Pop due to their complex dance routines and incredible live vocals, earning huge hits with songs including Sherlock, Replay, Ring Ding Dong and Dream Girl.
As well as being a singer and an accomplished dancer, he played a large part in the group's songwriting and production, and launched a successful solo career in 2015. He last performed at two solo concerts at Seoul's Olympic Park earlier in December.
In South Korea, it is known as a common way of suicide as the substance releases carbon monoxide.