The world of music and film lost a talented star on Wednesday, when Coco Lee died by suicide after a long struggle with depression, as her sisters revealed on Facebook. Coco Lee was famous for her rendition of “Reflection”, the theme song of Disney’s 1998 animated classic Mulan, in Mandarin.
Coco Lee also made history as the first Chinese American to perform at the Oscars, where she sang “A Love Before Time”, the song from Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, and it was selected in the list of nominations for an Academy Award.
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A Battle with Mental Illness
Lee’s sisters, Carol and Nancy, shared this very sad news on Facebook, saying that Lee had been suffering from depression for a few years, but her situation got worse in the last few months. Carol and Nancy explained that Lee had tried to take her own life at home on July 2 and was rushed to the hospital, where she was in a coma until she passed away.
A Remarkable Career in Music and Film
Coco Lee had a successful career as a pop singer in Asia. She produced albums in different languages like Mandarin, Cantonese and English over 30 years. She was the first Chinese singer to get a global deal with Sony Music and voiced the heroine Fa Mulan in the Mandarin version of Disney’s Mulan, where she also performed the theme song. In 2001, Lee sang “A Love Before Time”, the end-credit title song of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Music, Original Song.
Coco Lee also starred in three movies – No Tobacco (2002) by Stanley Kwan, Master of Everything (2004) by Lee Xin and Forever Young (2015) by He Jiong – and acted as a judge on several mainland Chinese talent shows such as Chinese Idol and Come Sing With Me. In 2011, Lee married Canadian businessman Bruce Rockowitz, the former CEO of Li & Fung, a supply chain company, and became a stepmom to his two daughters.