HONG KONG — Coco Lee, a Hong Kong-born singer and songwriter who had a highly successful career in Asia, has died by suicide, her siblings said Wednesday. She was 48.

Coco Lee, Hong Kong singer and songwriter who had international success, dies at 48.

Lee’s elder sisters Carol and Nancy Lee stated in a statement released on Facebook and Instagram that the singer had been suffering from depression for several years, with her condition deteriorating dramatically in recent months.

“Despite seeking professional help and doing her best to fight depression, that demon inside of her took the better of her,” the statement said.

Lee attempted suicide at home over the weekend and was transported to the hospital, according to her sister. She was thought to be in a coma and died on Wednesday.

Ferren Lee was born in Hong Kong and later migrated to the United States, where she attended middle and high school in San Francisco. She became a vocalist after placing first runner-up in an annual singing competition hosted by Hong Kong broadcaster TVB, and she published her first album at the age of 19 in 1994.

Though Lee began her career as a Mandopop singer, she gradually expanded to release albums in Cantonese and English during the course of her nearly 30-year career. Her powerful voice and live performances made her famous.

“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. “We are extremely proud of her!”

She was also the first Chinese singer to break into the American market, and in December 1999, her English song “Do You Want My Love” ranked at #4 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Breakouts chart.

Lee provided the voice of Fa Mulan in the Mandarin version of Disney’s “Mulan,” as well as singing the Mandarin version of the film’s theme song “Reflection.”

Lee married Bruce Rockowitz, a Canadian businessman and former CEO of Hong Kong supply chain giant Li & Fung, in 2011. Lee had two stepdaughters from her marriage to Rockowitz, but no children of her own.

Lee’s most recent Instagram post, dated December 31, 2022, had multiple photos of herself, including tattoos of the words “love” and “faith” as well as a picture of what looks to be a drainage bag attached to her torso.

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

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

She revealed in March that she had to relearn how to walk after receiving surgery for an old leg injury caused by going overboard during a dancing practise in October 2022.

“A successful operation. “I know I can do it, even though I’m in a lot of pain and have to relearn how to walk,” she posted on Facebook. “Yes, I can and will!”

Mandopop singer-songwriter Wang Leehom paid tribute to Lee in an Instagram post, describing her as the “biggest star” whom everyone wanted to work with.

“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.”

Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai posted a message on Facebook that read “R.I.P., your bright smile will always be remembered.”

coco lee

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top