SM Entertainment confirmed in early December 2017 that Jonghyun would return with a solo album in January 2018. At Jonghyun's Inspired concerts, which took place on December 9 and 10, 2017, his teleprompter included an announcement for his January 2018 solo comeback, but he had ignored it at the time.
The album and promotional music video for the title track "빛이 나 (Shinin')" had been completed before Jonghyun's death on December 18, 2017. On January 19, 2018, SM announced the title of the album and the release date.
On January 19, SM confirmed POET | ARTIST and its posthumous release on January 23. All album proceeds will be going to Jonghyun's mother to create a foundation for people living under difficult circumstances.
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