By Lee Hyo-won
Turtleman, frontman of the pop trio Turtles (Geobugi), passed away after a heart attack, Wednesday morning. The 37-year-old, whose real name is Im Sung-hoon, was already dead when his manager found him around 2:30 p.m. in his home in Kumho-dong, Seoul.
"Im didn't have any schedule booked for Tuesday. When his manager went to visit him Wednesday afternoon, he didn't answer the phone or the door", said Im's management agency Boogie Entertainment, according to Yonhap News. "The manager called a key repairman and entered his home. He appeared to be asleep in his bed. But Im didn't wake up or seem to be breathing, so he called the ambulance".
Im was transferred to a nearby hospital and autopsy results suggested that he had been dead for five to six hours. Measuring 1.7 meters tall and weighing 98 kilograms, the overweight rapper had been hospitalized in 2005 for the same heart condition. He had taken measures to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle. Im's father also died from heart complications in his sleep, according to Boogie Entertainment.
A funeral hall was set up in Soon Chun Hyung University Hospital in Hannam-dong, central Seoul. Im's fellow band members Ji-i and Geum-bi were reported as mourning the loss, and entertainers such as rapper Kim Chang-ryeol, singer Hwang Bo
and comedian Lee Yeong-ja
paid visits. "I can't believe it", his devastated mother was quoted as saying by Yonhap News.
Since debuting in 2002, the group has released seven singles and albums. In 2006 Turtles won the grand prize at the Seoul Music Awards. The team was promoting their fifth album.