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06th Jul 2023

Disney star Coco Lee dies aged 48

Jack Peat

The ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ and ‘Mulan’ singer died in hospital following a suicide attempt at her home

Hong Kong-born singer Coco Lee has tragically passed away at the age of 48.

The star, best known her performances in ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ and ‘Mulan’, died in hospital in Hong Kong on Wednesday following a suicide attempt at her home over the weekend, her family said in a statement.

She had been suffering from depression for several years, according to her elder sisters Carol and Nancy Lee, who shared a post on social media.

“Although, Coco sought professional help and did her best to fight depression, sadly that demon inside of her took the better of her,” they said.

Tributes have poured in since the news broke, with singer-songwriter Wang Leehom describing her as the “biggest star” in an Instagram post.

“In the music industry, Coco Lee broke down international barriers, before any other Chinese singer did,” he wrote.

“Let’s always remember her, as a brave pioneer, and an important musical legend.”

Born Ferren Lee in Hong Kong in 1975, moved to the US with her mother and sister and attended school in San Francisco.

Lee later returned to Hong Kong, where she pursued a music career.

She won the first runner-up in an annual singing competition held by broadcaster TVB in Hong Kong and signed with Sony Music Entertainment in 1996.

Her eponymous debut album became the best-selling album of that year in Asia.

Lee’s English song “Do You Want My Love” charted in the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot Dance Breakouts chart in December 1999.

She was the voice of heroine Fa Mulan in the Mandarin version of Disney’s Mulan and sang performed the Oscar-nominated song “A Love Before Time” from the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

In December last year, Lee posted on Instagram saying she was getting through an “incredibly difficult year”.

“Love & Faith – my two favourite words that I carry strongly in my heart which I desperately needed to get through this incredibly difficult year,” she wrote in the caption.

“Life seemed unbearable at times, but I adapted the attitude of a ‘female warrior’ to face them head on fearlessly,” the caption read.

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