Fans all over the world were shocked by the death of K-pop sensation Moonbin, which once again brought attention to the challenges such performers endure. Representation image. Pixabay

Fans all over the world were shocked by the death of K-pop sensation Moonbin, which once again brought attention to the challenges such performers endure.

Astro's 25-year-old member was a singer, actor, and model. His death came in the middle of a world tour of his duo with fellow Astro member Sanha.

Police stated that Moonbin "appears to have taken his own life" even if the precise cause of death is still under investigation.

The South Korean entertainment business has recently been struck by a succession of unexpected young celebrity fatalities, BBC reported.

An actress named Jung Chae-yull, 26, was discovered dead at her home earlier this month. In August of last year, the actress Yoo Joo-eun passed away at the age of 27.

Sulli, a former member of the girl group f(x), passed away in 2019 at the age of 25 after a protracted battle with cyberbullying. A month later, her close friend Goo Hara, a K-pop star as well, was discovered dead at home.

Not all were acknowledged as suicides. However, the loss of Moonbin has reignited interest in the fiercely competitive Korean entertainment industry.

South Korea, which is well-known for its intensely competitive culture, also has the highest rate of young suicide among wealthy nations.

Deaths among people in their 20s are increasing while the overall suicide rate is declining.

And being a celebrity in South Korea means they would be under much higher pressure compared to pop stars in North America or Europe, according to Rob Schwartz, an Asia correspondent for Billboard Magazine.

The competition is intense right away. For aspirant young Koreans, the entertainment industry is a very popular employment choice.

Actors, models, and singers were among the top 10 dream jobs for elementary school students, according to a poll conducted by the South Korean education ministry in 2021.

Most people must endure a demanding training phase to become K-pop stars, which means they will mainly lose relationships with their friends and peers. This could last for years.

Moonbin had to train for eight years before making his debut as a member of the idol group Astro, despite already having been a child actor in the widely watched Korean drama series Boys Over Flowers at the age of 11. Moon Sua, his sister and a member of Billlie, a girl band, spent 12 years training.

The control from celebrities' agencies and fan culture are two main contributors to the massive stress Korean stars face, Mr. Schwartz pointed out.

It used to be a common case that new starts would be tied into so-called slave contracts - long exclusive deals with little control of their schedule or financial reward.

Schwartz doesn't believe that the relationship between the two sides has fundamentally changed, despite the fact that certain K-pop celebrities have recently won cases releasing them from unfair contracts.

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