He was found unresponsive by his manager at his apartment in Seoul on Wednesday night, South Korean media quoted police as saying.
Moonbin, a K-pop star, has sadly passed away, BBC reports.
He died at the age of 25, his record label has announced.
Moonbin was found unresponsive by his manager at his apartment in Seoul on Wednesday night, South Korean media quoted police as saying.
“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.
He entered showbiz as a child actor and model in the 2000s. He had his acting debut in 2009, when as a 11-year-old he starred in the popular Korean drama series Boys Over Flowers. At age 18, he joined the popular boy band Astro in 2016.
With a career that spanned his entire life, Moonbin is in a rare group of K-pop stars. While his international appeal is not on the level of BTS or Blackpink, he’s wildly popular at home, Rob Schwartz, an Asia correspondent for Billboard Magazine, told the BBC.
He added that K-pop idols are under intense pressure from fans on social media to look and sound perfect, while record producers demand that they churn out hit after hit.
“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.
Since 2020, Moonbin had been performing with another Astro member Sanha in a duo. Moonbin & Sanha had been in the middle of a world tour, and their last performance was in Bangkok on 8 April.
The label Fantiago said all of Astro’s members were returning to Seoul on Thursday to gather for Moonbin’s wake. The statement from the label also asked people to “refrain from speculative and malicious reports” so that Moonbin’s family could pay their respects in peace.
Moobin’s sister Moon Sua is also a K-pop singer, part of the girl group Billlie. The siblings had previously spoken in public interviews about their dependence on each other.