SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Moon Bin, a singer from South Korean boyband Astro, was found dead at his home in Seoul, his management agency said Thursday.
The 25-year-old was reportedly found by his manager who went to the singer’s home Wednesday evening because he wasn’t responding to contacts. Police are investigating his death but have so far found no signs of foul play, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency. Officials at Seoul’s Gangnam district police station did not respond to calls for comment.
Moon Bin’s management agency, Fantagio, confirmed his death in a statement, saying that he “suddenly left us and became a star in the sky” and that fellow artists and company staff were mourning him with “very deep sadness and shock.”
Fantagio said Moon Bin’s funeral will be held “as quietly as possible,” with the attendance mostly limited to family, close friends and colleagues, based on the wishes of his relatives.
Moon Bin began his music career in 2016 as a member of the six-member boyband Astro, which debuted shortly after the singers appeared in a TV reality show. The group quickly found success in South Korea and Japan and was listed on Billboard’s top 10 list of new K-pop groups that year, with the magazine praising them for their “bright, synthpop sound that won over K-pop lovers from around the world.”
According to Billboard, Astro had seven albums on the magazine’s World Albums Chart with Moon Bin as a member, peaking at No. 5 in 2017 with “Dream Part.02.”
Fans flooded Moon Bin’s social media accounts with comments expressing grief and shock over his death, which came months after he renewed his contract with Fantagio along with four other Astro members.
“It’s hard to believe,” radio host Jang Seong-kyu wrote on Instagram. “We only met several times over broadcasts, but whenever we met, Moon Bin was always bright and expressed immense love for his family. I can’t imagine the pain he was going through.” Moon Bin had also performed as a member of the duo Moonbin & Sanha with Astro bandmate Yoon San-ha. Indonesian event promoter Lumina Entertainment on Wednesday announced the cancellation of the duo’s performance in Jakarta due to “unforeseen circumstances beyond our control.”
Helix Publicity, a U.S.-based public relations agency that has represented Moonbin & Sanha, issued a statement on Twitter that it was “absolutely heartbroken.”
“Sending our thoughts, prayers, and deepest condolences to Moon Bin’s family, friends, loved ones, and to AROHA who always cheered for him and supported him,” it said, referring to the name that Astro’s fans call themselves.
Moon Bin entered the entertainment industry as a child actor and landed a role in the 2009 TV series “Boys Over Flowers,” which was hugely popular in Asia. His sister, Moon Sua, is also a K-pop artist, a member of the girl band Billlie.
Several South Korean singers and actors have died by suicide in recent years, which has touched off soul-searching about harsh competition in the fast-growing entertainment industry, an abusive online culture and failure by management to address the mental health problems of their stars.
Last week, 26-year-old actress Jung Chae-yull was found dead at her home. Her agency did not say what caused her sudden death.
KIM TONG-HYUNG reported from Seoul