“Like the stars in the night sky”: Remembering K-pop idol Moon Bin

Photo credit: 티비텐, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Moon Bin, a member of the K-pop boy’s group ASTRO, passed away on April 19 at the age of 25. He is survived by his parents and younger sister Moon Sua, a member of the South Korean girl’s group Billlie.

Moon Bin began as a child actor in the hit Korean television drama “Boys Over Flowers” as a younger version of Korean actor Kim Bum’s character, So Yi-jung. He then transitioned to the music industry and debuted in ASTRO in 2016.

ASTRO is known for its sweet, playful visuals and bright music video concepts. Moon Bin was the main dancer of his group with a warm personality. He recently went viral for a stage performance with his sister.

In a letter to her deceased brother, Moon Sua expressed that she will continue living to honor her brother’s memory.

Since news of his passing, both K-pop fans and non-listeners worldwide have sent an outpouring of love.

To some K-pop fans, an idol — the name that loyal fanbases call Korean celebrities — represents hope and light. It perpetuates the parasocial relationship often seen between fans and celebrities, where an individual feels close to someone they have not met.

“I swear there was a hole in my heart and I felt so sad for his suffering and his family and friends finding out the news,” freshman management major Katherine Stewart.

It’s speculated that Moon Bin passed away from suicide. His native, South Korea, maintains its ranking as the country with the highest suicide rate of all developed countries.

This is also not the first time that suicide has struck the K-pop industry. Jonghyun of SHINee and Sulli of f(x) both died from suicide in 2017 and 2019, respectively.

The K-pop industry has long been criticized for its lack of mental health awareness and the intense pressure put on idols via rigorous training and performance schedules.

Tragedies like Moon Bin’s provide opportunities to challenge the systematic issues that persist as family, friends and fans grieve their loved ones.

If you or someone you know is going through a difficult time, you can reach out for help. See below for available resources.