Coco Lee, 48, dies as a result of complications from a stroke

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Hong Kong singer-songwriter Coco Lee died Wednesday after trying to take her own life at the weekend, according to a Facebook post by her sisters.

Lee sang the Mandarin version of the theme song “Reflection” from the 1998 Disney movie Mulan and also became the first Chinese American to perform at the Oscars, singing the Best Original Song-nominated “A Love Before Time” from Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. 

Coco Lee was a Hong Kong singer, actress, and dancer. Lee was born in Hong Kong in 1975, then moved to the U.S., where she attended middle and high school before starting a successful career in Asia as a pop singer. Initially a Mando-pop singer, she also released albums in Cantonese and English over her 30-year career. She also starred in several films and television shows.

She was the first Chinese singer to be signed by Sony Music globally and voiced the heroine Fa Mulan in the Mandarin version of Disney’s Mulan, on which she also sang the theme.

Lee also acted in three films – Stanley Kwan’s No Tobacco (2002), Lee Xin’s Master of Everything (2004) and He Jiong’s Forever Young (2015) – and appeared regularly as a judge on mainland Chinese talent shows, including Chinese Idol and Sing With Me. 

In 2011, Lee married Canadian businessman Bruce Rockowitz, the former CEO of supply chain company Li & Fung, and had two stepdaughters from the marriage.

In 2000, Lee became the first Chinese singer to perform at the Academy Awards, where she sang the nominated song “Reflection” from the film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. She also sang the theme song for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Lee was known for her powerful vocals and her energetic stage presence. She was also a fashion icon and was often seen on the pages of fashion magazines.

Lee died in 2023 at the age of 48 after a battle with depression. Her death was a shock to her fans and the entertainment industry. She is remembered as one of her generation’s most talented and successful singers.

Singer Coco Lee, who enjoyed pop stardom in Asia in the 1990s and 2000s, died at 48.

Born in Hong Kong, Lee moved to the U.S. as a child and released albums in Mandarin and English.

She also voiced the lead character in the Mandarin version of Disney’s hit film Mulan and performed a song from the soundtrack of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon at the 2001 Oscars.

Her sisters said she had been in a coma since a suicide attempt at the weekend.

Lee had suffered from depression for a few years, older sisters Carol and Nancy wrote in a Facebook post.

She tried to take her own life at home on Sunday and was taken to hospital, where she died on Wednesday, they wrote.

“Although Coco sought professional help and did her best to fight depression, sadly, that demon inside her took the better of her,” they continued. The sisters said she had attempted suicide at home on July 2 and had been rushed to the hospital, where she remained in a coma until her death.

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Marta Lopez

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