Moonbin, a 25-year-old K-pop star, has passed away in what is believed to be a suicide

According to South Korean media reports, Moonbin, a K-pop star, was found unresponsive at his apartment in Seoul on Wednesday night and has passed away at the age of 25, as confirmed by his record label.

“He appears to have taken his own life but an autopsy is being reviewed to determine the exact cause of death,” police said.

Moonbin “unexpectedly left our world and became a star in the sky”, a tribute from his label Fantiago said.

Moonbin began his career in showbiz as a child actor and model in the 2000s. He made his acting debut at the age of 11 in the popular Korean drama series Boys Over Flowers in 2009. At the age of 18, he joined the popular boy band Astro in 2016.

Moonbin’s career spanned his entire life, making him a rare K-pop star. While he may not have the same level of international fame as BTS or Blackpink, he was immensely popular in his home country, according to Rob Schwartz, an Asia correspondent for Billboard Magazine who spoke with the BBC.

Schwartz also noted that K-pop idols face intense pressure from fans on social media to look and sound perfect, while record producers demand a constant stream of hit songs.

“It’s crazy how they have these guys under a microscope,” he said. “Certainly, stars in the West can more or less keep who they’re dating a secret. In the K-pop world, it’s impossible to keep a secret. Every time they lift a foot, thousands of lines are written about it.”

He also noted that Moonbin went on hiatus in 2019-2020 citing his health. “K-pop artists don’t really have a life outside being a pop star. They start training at a very young age. They don’t go to school or make regular friends. It’s really hard for them to see life outside the K-pop world,” he said.

Moonbin, a 25-year-old K-pop star, has passed away, as announced by his record label. According to South Korean media, he was found unresponsive at his apartment in Seoul by his manager on Wednesday night.

Moonbin began his career as a child actor and model in the 2000s, with his acting debut in 2009 in the Korean drama series Boys Over Flowers. He later joined the boy band Astro in 2016 at the age of 18. He was part of a duo with another Astro member, Sanha, and they were in the middle of a world tour, with their last performance in Bangkok on April 8th.

Moonbin’s record label, Fantiago, announced that all Astro members would be returning to Seoul on Thursday to gather for his wake, asking people to avoid making speculative and malicious reports to let the family pay their respects in peace.

Moonbin’s sister, Moon Sua, is also a K-pop singer in the group Billlie. The K-pop industry has seen several suicides in recent years, and Moonbin’s death has saddened many Astro fans, known as “Arohas”.

At a recent concert, while on the “Diffusion” tour with Sanha to promote the duo’s latest EP record, Moonbin told fans that he had been going through a difficult time, Korean broadcaster SBS reported.

“I want to confess one thing, I’m actually feeling really bad. There might have been a lot of signs from which people could notice since the concert started, so I’m also very sorry to you guys.

“I’m working out and trying to pick up things that I’ve left little by little. I chose this job so I need to be happy so that I can make fans happy as well,” he said in a live broadcast over social media.

The duo was set to perform in Macau this Saturday, followed by Indonesia and Japan in May.