Following a suicide attempt that left her in a coma, Hong Kong-born American singer CoCo Lee died at age 48 on 5 July. Her sisters, Carol and Nancy Lee posted the tragic news in a statement on Instagram and Facebook.

“CoCo had been suffering from depression for a few years, but her condition deteriorated drastically over the last few months. Although CoCo sought professional help and did her best to fight depression, sadly that demon inside of her took the better of her.

On 2 July, she committed suicide at home and was sent to the hospital. Despite the best efforts of the hospital team to rescue and treat her from her coma, she finally passed away on 5 July 2023.” She died in Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong, where she had been residing.

A post shared by Nancy Si Lin Lee (@nancy_yauyetei)

She was born with a defect in her left leg and had been living in pain since she was two when she experienced a botched surgery. In February this year, she revealed that she had undergone major surgery and had to learn to walk again.

She was born in Hong Kong in 1975 before moving to San Francisco at the age of 9. After graduating high school in 1992, she received a recording contract with Capital Artists in Hong Kong.

The pop diva was well known in Asia, with her career peaking in the 1990s and early 2000s. Starting as a mandopop singer, she later released albums in Cantonese and English. Her song ‘A Love Before Time’ from the iconic film ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ was nominated for Best Original Song at the 2001 Academy Awards, and she later performed it live at the ceremony.

She was also known for being the voice of Mulan in the Mandarin version of the Disney movie and singing the movie’s theme song ‘Reflection’ in the Mandarin version.

In the post, her sisters also lauded her achievements, saying, “2023 marks the 30th anniversary of CoCo’s singing career, in the past 29 years, she’s won countless international acclaims with top-selling songs and has left audiences w(ith) an astounding impression of her excellent live performances. 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. We are proud of her!” Condolences poured in from fans following the revelation of the news.

CoCo leaves behind her husband, Canadian businessman Bruce Rockowitz, the former CE of Hong Kong supply chain company Li&Fung. She also leaves behind two stepdaughters but did not have biological children herself.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, psychosocial support services such as the KKM-Mercy Malaysia hotline (03-29359935), the Befrienders (03-76272929), and Talian Kasih (15999) are available for those who might be going through a difficult time.

Image credit: @cocolee