In a Facebook post, the sisters of singer Coco Lee confirmed her passing on Wednesday, July 5th, following a suicide attempt on Sunday, July 2nd. Lee was 48.
In the post, her sisters stated that the Hong Kong-born artist had been struggling with depression for a few years and that her condition had worsened in recent months.
Lee moved to the United States at age nine and later returned to her home country to begin her music career.
After graduating high school, she was offered a recording contract in Hong Kong. She attempted to continue her schooling at the University of California, Irvine. Nonetheless, she ultimately abandoned her freshman-year studies to focus on her pop music profession.
Her career skyrocketed in 1998 when she sang the Mandarin version of the theme song “Reflection” from the Disney film “Mulan” and voiced the titular role for the Chinese version of the movie.
In addition, she made history as the first Chinese American to perform at the Oscars, singing “A Love Before Time” from Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and as the first Chanel brand ambassador of Chinese descent for the Asia region.
The singer-songwriter remained an influential celebrity in mainland China until her death and is remembered as a talented and stylish pop icon. She had also been involved in various singing competitions and reality shows.
Her sisters commented, “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!”
Lee is survived by her mother, husband Bruce Rockowitz, a Canadian businessman who is the former CEO of Hong Kong supply chain company Li & Fung, and two stepdaughters.