Coco Lee dies at 48 after battling depression

Chinese-American singer and songwriter Coco Lee, who was best known for voicing Fa Mulan in the Mandarin dubbed version of the 1998 Disney classic Mulan, has died at the age of 48. 

According to a statement made by Lee’s sisters, Carol and Nancy, the actress died on Wednesday, July 5, three days after she attempted to take her own life at home. Lee had been suffering from depression for several years, and this year would have marked the 30th anniversary of Lee’s debut.

Lee was a prominent figure in the music industry, having released two Mandarin albums in 1994 and an English album in 1995. She performed “A Love Before Time,” a song from the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon movie soundtrack, at the 2001 Oscars, and won a Hong Kong Film Award for Best Original Song in 2001 for “Moonlight Lover,” featured in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Lee was also nominated for two other Chinese entertainment awards in 2005 for her work in the fairytale Zi yu zi le (Bamboo Shoot).

Lee’s sisters wrote in their statement that “Not only did she bring us joy with her songs and dances in the past 29 years, she also worked hard to break new ground for Chinese singers in the international music scene and has been doing her utmost to shine for the Chinese”. Lee was married to Canadian Bruce Rockowitz in a lavish wedding in 2011, which reportedly included performances by Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys and Ne-Yo.

“In addition to remembering Coco, I hope that you will share her trademark bright smile, honesty and kindness with everyone around you, and continue Coco’s wish that all those around her will feel her love and joy,” the official statement concluded. Information regarding a memorial or other survivors was not immediately made public.


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