K-pop star Moonbin dead at 25: Music label

The announcement was made in a statement posted in Korean early Thursday morning on Fantagio's official Twitter page

By AFP

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Photo: AFP file
Photo: AFP file

Published: Thu 20 Apr 2023, 12:07 AM

Last updated: Thu 20 Apr 2023, 6:46 AM

K-pop star Moonbin, a member of the boy band Astro, has died at the age of 25, his music label Fantagio announced Thursday.

Local media, citing the police, reported that Moonbin had been found unresponsive on Wednesday evening in his apartment in the upscale Gangnam neighborhood of Seoul.

"On April 19, Astro member Moon Bin unexpectedly left our world and became a star in the sky," said a statement posted in Korean early Thursday on Fantagio's official Twitter page.

It did not provide any suspected cause of death.

The statement asked that everyone "refrain from speculative and malicious reports" so that his family can pay their respects and honor him in peace.

Moon Bin -- who performed as Moonbin -- was a member of the group Astro and also performed with a sub-group called Moonbin & Sanha.

He joined the Fantagio label's trainee program at an early age and was an actor and model before debuting with Astro in February 2016. The group was originally six performers, but one member left in February 2023.

Moonbin's sister Moon Sua is also a K-pop singer, performing as part of the girl group Billlie.

"So sorry for the loss of one of the most beautiful souls I've meet through music! Prayers to his family and friends and employers and fans!" one user responded on Twitter to Fantagio's post.

Several other young K-pop stars have died in recent years, including Goo Hara in November 2019. She had been abused by an ex-boyfriend who, after they split, blackmailed her over their sex videos.

The suspected suicide occurred a month after her close friend, K-pop star Sulli, took her own life after a long struggle with online bullying, prompting demands in South Korea of stronger punishments for cybercrimes and abusive online comments.

In 2018, 33-year-old Minwoo of boy band 100% died at home, with his label only saying he had suffered cardiac arrest.

Just over three months earlier, the group SHINee's lead singer Jonghyun died by a suspected suicide. He was 27.

K-pop stars are picked up by agencies at a young age -- usually in their early or mid teens -- and live under tight control, with their days taken over by gruelling musical and dance training.

South Korea has one of the world's highest rates of suicide which, according to recent government figures, is among the top causes of death for those under 40.

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