Coco Lee: Disney star and pop singer dies at 48

Coco Lee, the talented and influential Hong Kong-born American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actress, passed away at the age of 48. She died by suicide on July 5, 2023, after attempting to take her own life on July 2, 2023.
She had been suffering from depression for several years, according to her sisters Carol and Nancy Lee, who announced her death on social media.

A versatile and successful artist
Coco Lee was born in Hong Kong in 1975, but moved to San Francisco with her family when she was a child. She returned to Hong Kong for a vacation after high school, where she entered a singing contest and won the first prize. That launched her career as a pop star in Asia, where she became known for her R&B sounds infused with Western hip hop.

Coco Lee released more than 20 albums in Mandarin, Cantonese and English, and sold over 50 million records worldwide. She won numerous awards and accolades, including the Golden Melody Award (the Taiwanese equivalent of the Grammy Award), the MTV Asia Award, the World Music Award, and the Billboard Music Award

Coco Lee also ventured into acting and voice acting. She voiced the female warrior Mulan in the Mandarin-language version of the Disney animated film of the same name in 1998. She also performed the Oscar-nominated song.

Coco Lee collaborated with many international artists, such as Lionel Richie, Wyclef Jean, Kelly Price, Shaggy, Earth Wind & Fire, and Andrea Bocelli. She also appeared on various TV shows and events, such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, and the Nobel Peace Prize Concert.

A beloved sister and friend
Lee’s sisters Carol and Nancy Lee expressed their gratitude and pride for their sister in their Instagram and Facebook post. They wrote:
“In the past 29 years, she’s won countless international acclaims with top selling songs and has left audience w 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!”
They also asked for prayers and privacy for their elderly mother and themselves as they grieved for their loss.

“Now, our greatest responsibility is to take good care of our elderly mother. I hope everyone will pray for this poor old lady & allow us time & privacy in healing.”

They concluded their post by saying:
“Although CoCo stays in the world for not long a time, her rays of light will last forever!”
Many celebrities and fans also paid tribute to Lee on social media. Some of them include:
• JJ Lin, a Singaporean singer-songwriter who wrote: “You are my idol forever.”
• Fish Leong, a Malaysian singer who wrote: “You are always so beautiful and kind.”
• David Tao, a Taiwanese singer-songwriter who wrote: “You are a legend of Chinese pop music.”
• Miranda Kerr, an Australian model who wrote: “You are a shining star in heaven.”
• Stefanie Sun, a Singaporean singer who wrote: “You are a brave warrior.”

A reminder of mental health awareness
Lee’s death also sparked public discussion about depression and mental health issues — topics that are often stigmatized or ignored in China. Many fans expressed their shock and sadness over Lee’s death, and shared their own struggles with mental health. Some also called for more awareness and support for people who suffer from depression or suicidal thoughts.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. Depression is a common mental disorder that can affect anyone at any age. It can cause persistent sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and difficulty concentrating. Depression can also lead to suicide.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, please seek professional help or contact a crisis hotline. You are not alone. There is hope and help available.

Here are some resources that you can use:
• Lifeline (24-hour Crisis Line): 131 114
• Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
• MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
• Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
• Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
• Headspace on 1800 650 890
• ReachOut at
• QLife on 1800 184 527
• Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN) on 1800 008 774
Rest in peace, Coco Lee. You will be missed and remembered by many. Thank you for your music and your legacy.

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