How Did CoCo Lee Die? Iconic Hong Kong Singer and 'Mulan' Voice Dies Aged 48 after Attempting Suicide

In her final Instagram post back in December, Lee said that over the past year, life has occasionally felt "unbearable."

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Singer CoCo Lee has died aged 48 after a suicide attempt over the weekend. The Hong Kong-born celebrity had been struggling with depression for several years, her older sisters Carol and Nancy Lee, said in a statement shared on Facebook and Instagram on Wednesday. Lee's condition is said to have deteriorated drastically over the past few months.

Born in Hong Kong, Lee moved to the United States as a child and released albums in Mandarin and English. Lee had a career of over 30 years that encompassed various achievements. Among them was providing the voice of the heroine Mulan in the Mandarin-language rendition of Disney's "Mulan."

Depression Leads to Death

CoCo Lee
CoCo Lee Twitter

In a heartfelt statement, Lee's older sisters shared that she made a suicide attempt at her home on Sunday, July 2, and was rushed to the hospital. Tragically, her suicide attempt, stemming from her battle with depression, resulted in her slipping into a coma, which persisted until her death on Wednesday.

"CoCo had been suffering from depression for a few years but her condition deteriorated drastically over the last few months," the Facebook post stated.

"Although, CoCo sought professional help and did her best to fight depression, sadly that demon inside of her took the better of her."

Coco Lee
Coco Lee Twitter

In her final Instagram post back in December, Lee said that over the past year, life has occasionally felt "unbearable."

Lee moved to the United States as a child and went to school there. As she grew up, she achieved remarkable success in Asia as a pop singer during the 1990s and 2000s. She soon achieved fame for her powerful voice and live performances.

One of her notable accomplishments was her 1996 album titled "Coco Lee," which became the top-selling record of that year in Asia.

CoCo Lee
CoCo Lee Twitter

Initially known as a Mandopop singer, Lee expanded her repertoire and released albums in Cantonese and English, showcasing her versatility over her extensive career that spanned nearly three decades.

Fame and Depression

Lee's musical prowess transcended borders, as demonstrated by the success of her single "Do You Want My Love," which not only gained popularity in Hong Kong and Taiwan but also made its way onto the music charts in the United States. In 1999, she released her first English album titled "Just No Other Way."

Moreover, Lee had the opportunity to showcase her talent on a global platform when she performed her song "A Love Before Time" from the film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" at the 2001 Oscars. The song received a nomination for Best Original Song, solidifying Lee's presence in the international music scene.

Lee lent her voice to the character Fa Mulan in the Mandarin version of Disney's "Mulan" and also performed the Mandarin rendition of the film's theme song, "Reflection."

Her most recent single, titled "Tragic," was released just months back on February 14.

CoCo Lee
CoCo Lee Twitter

In 2011, Lee married Bruce Rockowitz, a Canadian businessman who previously served as the chief executive of Hong Kong-based supply chain company Li & Fung.

Although Lee had two stepdaughters from her marriage to Rockowitz, she did not have children of her own.

"CoCo is also known to have worked tirelessly to open up a new world for Chinese singers in the international music scene, and she went all out to shine for the Chinese," her sisters wrote in their post.

CoCo Lee
CoCo Lee Twitter

"We are proud of her!"

Coco Lee recently suffered a leg injury that required her to undergo a process of learning how to walk again.

In February, she disclosed her plans for an operation after aggravating a previous injury sustained during dance practice in October. She had always relied more on her right leg for most of her mobility due to a congenital defect in her left leg.

This article was first published on July 6, 2023