SINGAPORE – K-pop star Goo Hara, bade her fans "Good night" on Instagram with a photo of herself tucked into bed on Saturday (Nov 23).
Those were to be her last words to fans, as the 28-year-old singer, formerly of girl group Kara, was found dead in her home in Seoul on Sunday evening (Nov 24).
Police are investigating the cause of her death but foul play has been reportedly ruled out. According to media reports, the singer had also left behind a note, which was found in her residence.
A private wake will be held at Gangnam Severance Hospital. The public is asked to not visit.
A separate public memorial for fans will be held at Seoul St. Mary's Hospital in from Monday (No 25) to Wednesday.
Earlier this year, there were already some warning signs that the singer-actress was troubled.
She was hospitalised in May after she was found unconscious in her home due to an apparent attempted suicide.
She later apologised for worrying fans and told a media outlet in Japan, where she has a large following, that she was recovering.
Her death comes a month after the death of another K-pop star Sulli, formerly of girl group f(x), who was Goo's close personal friend.
Sulli was 25 and died in a suspected suicide. She was said to have been battling depression and spoke openly about being cyberbullied as a female celebrity.
Goo, who was in Japan for work and could not make it back for Sulli's private funeral, cried in an Instagram live video, apologising to Sulli for missing her funeral.
She promised to live and work harder for Sulli and told fans not to worry about her.
Goo also became the subject of much media scrutiny and malicious comments online when she took her ex-boyfriend, hairdresser Choi Jong-bum to court last year, saying that he assaulted her and that he threatened to release an intimate video of her, though he did not go through with it.
Choi denied the allegations and claimed that he was assaulted by Goo.
After a lengthy and public trial, he was sentenced in August to a prison sentence of one year and six months, suspended for three years of probation, on charges of intimidation, coercion and causing damage and destruction of property.
Choi, as well as the prosecution are both in the process of appealing the sentence.
After Goo's death, a Korean hashtag which translates to Punish Choi Jong-bum became a top trend on Twitter, with fans blaming him for the tragedy.
Goo, who joined Kara in 2008 shot to fame when Kara became immensely popular after the release of their chart-topping song Mister (2009).
The group eventually disbanded in 2016 as members left and their popularity waned.
Goo had been positioning herself for a comeback before her death.
She released a Japanese single titled Midnight Queen just this month and went on a concert tour in four Japanese cities from Nov 14 to 19.
Goo's and Sulli's deaths are not the first in K-pop. In 2017, Jonghyun from boyband Shinee also took his own life at the age of 27.
The quick succession of tragedy have made fans worried about the effect grief will have on other artists, especially those close to Goo and Sulli such as singer-actress IU and Super Junior member Heechul.
IU, who was close to both Goo and Sulli, sang the song Dear Name and was on the verge of tears at her concert in Seoul on Nov 24, presumably after learning the news of Goo's death.
Here are five stars who have made public their battles with depression and other mental health issues.
1. Taeyeon, 30[hhmc]
Girls Generation's Taeyeon , opened up about her mental health issues in June this year during an Instagram question-and-answer session.
In response to a question which asked if she had bipolar disorder, she said: "No, I am suffering from depression. I am on medication and working hard to get better."
She also chastised those who make light of and dismiss mental health issues in the same session.
Fans have been worried about Taeyeon's health as she was a close friend of both Jonghyun and Sulli.
The death of her close friends have intensified worries that her mental health struggles will worsen.
The singer has not said much about her mental health condition since June, but has kept herself busy – she released her second solo album late last month and is also the voice behind the Korean version of Into the Unknown from the Disney series Frozen 2.
2. Heechul, 36[hhmc]
Boyband Super Junior's Heechul is known for being funny and outspoken on variety shows but he has a history with depression.
Fans are particularly worried about his health as he made his previously public Instagram account private soon after Goo's death and seemingly unfollowed all accounts.
He was also close to Sulli and Goo and was a senior to Jonghyun, who was also from SM Entertainment.
He was also very close to Hankyung, a former Super Junior member, who is Chinese.
Hankyung left the group after disputes with the management agency and following his departure, Heechul was reportedly so affected that he refused to leave his room.
Heechul, who is unable to participate in intense dance choreography due to an old leg injury also confessed that he felt guilty for not being able to join the rest of Super Junior in their dance performances.
3. Mina, 22[hhmc]
The Japanese member of popular girl group Twice recently took a break from promotional activities in July after her agency said she was suffering from anxiety issues and feels extreme anxiRead More – Source