NBC Station Confuses Jonghyun of SHINee for BTS Singer, Plays Video of Wrong Band While Reporting on Death

A portrait of Kim Jong-hyun, the late lead singer of the massively popular K-pop boy band SHINee, is seen on a mourning altar at a Seoul hospital on December 19. Choi Hyuk/AFP/Getty Images

NBC Chicago has apologized after angering fans of K-pop by running a video of the popular band BTS while reporting on the death of Kim Jong-hyun—better known as Jonghyun—who was in an entirely different band named SHINee.

"Yesterday, while reporting on the death of Kim Jong-hyun, a member of the popular South Korean boy band SHINee, NBC 5 mistakenly aired video of the band BTS during our morning newscast. We sincerely apologize for this error," the station tweeted.

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Accompanying the tweet was a video further apologizing for the error. It noted that the station had mistakenly reported that Jonghyun and the rest of SHINee had appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres show when it was BTS that appeared, along with band leader Kim Nam-joon.

Jonghyun died this week at just 27 years old. Authorities are investigating suicide as a potential cause of death; the massively popular singer apparently left behind a note, which was published by a friend who said the singer had asked that it be made public if he died.

"The depression that gnawed on me slowly has finally engulfed me entirely," he wrote in Korean, as translated in The Guardian. "I was so alone.... The act of ending is difficult. I've lived until now because of that difficulty. Please tell me I did a good job.... You've worked hard. You've really gone through a lot. Goodbye."

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Jonghyun was found Monday night in a rented apartment in Seoul by emergency responders after they reportedly were contacted by his older sister, who was worried her brother was going to harm himself. He was taken to a hospital, but a medical team was not able to revive him.

The Korean star helped SHINee ascend to stardom, with the group putting out 11 albums since it formed in 2008. According to Variety, the band most recently played for more than 300,000 fans in 25 shows in 10 cities. They've helped set trends and dazzled fans with their singing and dancing, along the way earning the moniker the "Princes of K-pop."

So it makes sense that fans of SHINee and K-pop were upset by NBC Chicago's mistake. BTS is also a supremely popular K-pop band, and the young men are followed by adoring fans everywhere they go. Fans called the mistake disrespectful and asked for an apology, which they received Wednesday. See some responses from fans below:

NBC Station Confuses Jonghyun of SHINee for BTS Singer, Plays Video of Wrong Band While Reporting on Death | Culture