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K-Pop Industry Mourns Sulli, Cancels Events in Wake of Death

Concerts, promotional operations and press events across South Korea were canceled Tuesday following the unexpected death of prominent singer-actress Sulli.

Sulli, whose real name was Choi Jin-ri, was found dead at her home near Seoul on Monday. Her manager said that Sulli, 25, formerly part of girl group f(x), had recently suffered from depression. While no suicide note has been found, police said Tuesday that they have discovered a journal Sulli kept.

All artists signed to the SM Entertainment label, which represented Sulli, canceled or postponed events. Super M, a K-pop super group composed of members of SM boy bands Shinee, EXO and NCT, halted recording of its comeback show Monday.

Other boy bands, Super Junior and NCT Dream. also canceled events. Tae-yeon, a Girls Generation member-turned-solo artist, put off the release of part of her studio album.

Broadcaster CJ E&M canceled press events for its variety show “Somebody 2” and “Chicken Road,” which were scheduled to take place Tuesday. Netflix also canceled promotion of its Korean original comedy show “Park Na-rae: Glamour Warning.”

Artists from other labels also reacted to Sulli’s sudden death. JYP Entertainment announced Tuesday that its boy bands Day6 and GOT7 would halt the release of their releases this week. Source Music’s GFRIEND members canceled their appearances at the Seoul Fashion Week.

Media commentary in the 24 hours since Sulli’s death has once again focused on the issue of cyber-bullying. In conservative South Korea, Sulli sometimes attracted controversy with her dating and clothing choices and outspoken comments on feminism.

Artists and celebrities took to Twitter and Instagram to express their condolences and point the finger at online critics. “A girl that was beautiful and cheerful. I hope the world becomes more generous to people,” former KARA member Park Gyuri said on Instagram.

“Another precious life has departed. Bullies are cowardly, faceless murderers,” veteran actor Shin Hyun-joon (“Bad Guys Always Die”) wrote on Instagram.

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