K-Drama Star Song Yoo-jung's Passing Brings Back Attention to Mounting Celebrity Deaths in South Korea

Buzz Staff
·3-min read

Fans of K-drama across the world were left stunned and heart-broken on January 25 after news of the death of South Korean actor Song Yoo-jung was announced on media.

Broken on Instagram by her agency Sublime Artist, the news caused a wave of gloom among fans of K-drama, a heterogeneous group that consists of viewers from across the world. Yoo-jung was 26.

[q]Who was Song Yoo-jung?[/q]

[ans]Having made her acting debut in 2013 with the sitcom Golden Rainbow, Yoo-jung was a popular face in South Korea due to her K-drama roles and music video appearances. Her last TV appearance was in KBS’ School 2017, airing that same year. In 2018, Song starred in boy band iKON's music video for Goodbye Road. The actress was also seen in the 2019 web drama "Dear My Name."

Not just an actor and model, Yoo-jung was also interested in activism and was often vocal about the rights of persons with disabilities. She was the ambassador of 'Warm Accompaniment', an organisation in South Korea. [/ans]

[q]What was the cause of Song Yoo-jung's death?[/q]

[ans]The statement released by Yoo-jung's agency Sublime Artist does not mention the cause of the 26-year-old's death. The news, however, has fueled speculation since it follows the death by suicide of several South Korean artists in the past few months. K-pop superstar Kim Jong-hyun's fans were devastated in December 2017 when the star, better known as Jonghyun, took his own life at the age of 27. Singer Sulli who was formerly part of the popular band f(x), also took her life at home at the age of 25 in October 2019. The incident took place after allegedly relentless cyberbullying targeting the singer after she became part of a campaign for feminism. Barely six weeks from the death of Sulli, fellow K-pop artist Goo Hara who was formerly a member of the girl band Kara was found dead at the age of 28. Death of South Korean artists continued in 2020 as well when actress-model Oh In-hye died at the age of 36 and K-pop Yohan who was a member of TST also breathed his last.[/ans]

[q]What has been the reaction to Song Yoo-jong's death?[/q]

[ans]The melancholic melody and sad lyrics about a farewell from the 2018 iKon song that Yoo-song appeared in are hitting fans of the young star harder in light of the recent developments. Social media has seen outpourings of condolence and disbelief from fans and followers of K-drama, many expressed their grief at the loss of the young artist. The death has also renewed focus on the stringent conditions and pressures put on actors, celebrities and pop artists in South Korea and the toll it takes on artists' physical and mental health as well as social life.

Despite the cause of Yoo-jung's death remaining anonymous, the death of yet another South Korean celebrity following a string of deaths by suicide has once again led to concerns regarding the tight control exercised by Korean management companies in the grooming of artists since a young age.[/ans]