Jonghyun's birthday: Tribute to SHINee's late vocalist, one of the greatest K-pop icons who left a rich legacy

'For Jjong music is stories, he always aspired to tell wide range of stories from sad to happy, from love to tiredness and much more'

                            Jonghyun's birthday: Tribute to SHINee's late vocalist, one of the greatest K-pop icons who left a rich legacy
It is Jonghyun's birthday (SHINee Instagram)

SHINee’s Jonghyun’s impact and legacy of music has been huge, to say the least. The singer gave a galaxy of critically acclaimed music, made two studio albums, two compilation albums, one extended play, nine singles along with contributing to over 50 songs. The work of the vocalist for K-pop band SHINee exists so vividly even now with a deep impact on fans. Fans have taken to social media on his birthday to remember the icon and Jonghyun touched and reshaped their lives. Jonghyun died in December, 2017.

Along with his rich oeuvre of music, the ‘Poet | Artist’ crooner also authored the book 'Skeleton Flower: Things That Have Been Released' which had stories written in form of songs with pictures taken by him. The book allows the viewers a direct transit to Jonghyun’s vision, on how he chose to convey his emotions and bridge the distance between the fan and the artist. It is clear that Jonghyun's artistry was so much more than his stage presence, it was how he saw the world and what he felt that attracted listeners to him.


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Jonghyun as a musician

Along with his successful career as a SHINee star, Jonghyun ventured as a solo artist in 2015 with his debut solo album 'Base' and the EP went on not just to break chart records, peaking at number one on both the Billboard World Album Chart and the Gaon Album Chart but it also established his mastery over the craft. His emotive vocals combined with deeply personal lyrics which resonated with the world made his fans more connected to him. Some of his most notable songs include, 'Déjà-Boo', 'Diphallia Grayi', 'Lonely' featuring Taeyeon, 'A Gloomy Clock' featuring IU, his posthumous album  'Poet | Artist', 'So Goodbye', 'She Is' and more.

Jonghyun (SM Entertainment)

Commentary on social issues and mental health

Jonghyun's writing was heavily based on issues that moved him as he tried to fight the existing stigmas of society including mental health, discrimination, and more. He also used his platform to amplify voices. From asking to donate for disaster in Nepal disaster to urging fans to think about the children who lost their lives on the Sewol ferry disaster, Jonghyun was vocal about everything that mattered to him. He also reportedly supported a bisexual and transgender college student in Korea openly on Twitter, appreciating the person “for speaking out that being different doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”

SHINee Jonghyun will be remembered as one of the greatest K-pop stars (SM Entertainment YouTube)

His discography is filled with lyrics that can be a warm hug for fans in emotional distress. In 'End of a Day' from 2015, Jonghyun says “You did a good job today, you worked so hard,” in 'Skeleton Flower' from 'The Story op', he sings, "As time passes even the white petals will wither away/ Without the memories that has become transparent/ Ah, so you're blown off by sadness/ Ah, so you're getting wet from tears/ As time passes..." Jonghyun wrote to create magic but also to stitch broken hearts by lending his voice to resonate with millions.


'He aspired to tell stories' 

Prior to his birthday on April 8, we asked fans to tell us how the late SHINee singer impacted the lives of their fans. Here are some of the responses from fans. Speaking on how he weaved stories of both happiness and melancholy, a fan wrote, "For Jjong music is stories, he always aspired to tell wide range of stories from sad to happy, from love to tiredness and much more. His songs & distinct music which contains simple but deep lyrics always helped ppl to relate & get comforted. He has really wide range of music" and added, "is a genius in composing/producing too! In his first studio album, She Is, he used different kind of genres & played with instrumentals & diff sounds of music to create his own taste & he did it so well! Not only She Is but all of his albums contain that unique texture."

"He always aspired to tell a wide range of stories" (SM Entertainment)

Another tweet read, "He can literally play with music to make it energetic & exciting but when comes to heart felt songs, he reduces the instrumentals to simple yet distinct & lets his vocals take the job of directing listeners emotions. He is a really unique MUSICIAN with diverse range", and "it's honestly difficult to express his musical prowess without writing a giant book abt it. He can make you feel loved with songs like orbit, suit up, Aurora; can make u feel understood with songs like end of a day, our spring, lonely along with many more varied emotions!" 




A birthday tribute to the singer read, "He is a true talent & spreading his ARTISTRY as far as possible is what I will do as his fan! Jonghyun, you are amazing & did a great job! Advance happy birthday!" Another message said, "i don't even know where to start with why i love jjong? he has the most beautiful soul and you can still feel his impact even today and i miss him everyday. but i'll reply w my most recent addition to my list of reasons to jonghyun with all my heart!"



Tell us what Jonghyun's music meant to you in the comments below. Here's the magnum opus of Jonghyun, 'Poet | Artist'.


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