Moonbin, member of K-Pop band Astro, has died at 25

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Local media reported that Moonbin was found lifeless on the evening of April 19 in his apartment in the upscale Gangnam district of Seoul. “On April 19, the member of the Astros unexpectedly left our world and became a star in the sky,” read a statement posted in Korean on Fantagio’s official Twitter page. No information on the cause of death was provided. The statement asked everyone to “refrain from speculative and harmful reports” so that his family can pay their respects in private.

Who was Moonbin

Moon Bin – who performed under the stage name 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 originally consisted of six artists, but one member left in February 2023. Moonbin’s sister, Moon Sua, is also a K-pop singer and performs as part of the girl group Billie. The label’s announcement prompted thousands of comments from grieving fans, many of whom expressed disbelief. “I am so sorry for the loss of one of the most beautiful souls I have met through music! Prayers to his family, friends, employers and fans!” wrote one user on Twitter. “I can’t concentrate on work now. This really hurts,” wrote another.

The Curse of the K-Pop Stars

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 for their hot videos. Her suspected suicide came a month after her close friend and fellow K-pop star Sulli she killed herself after a long fight against online bullying, prompting South Korea to call for tougher punishments for cybercrimes and abusive comments online. In 2018 Minwoo of boy band 100% died at home, with his label only reporting a cardiac arrest. Just over three months earlier, SHINee lead singer Jonghyun had died of suspected suicide. He was 27 years old. K-pop stars are picked up by agencies at a young age – usually in their early or mid teens – and live under close scrutiny, with their days taken up with grueling music and dance workouts. South Korea has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, which is among the leading causes of death for those under 40, according to recent government data.