Coco Lee, Disney ‘Mulan’ Star, Dies at 48

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By Joshephira Honey

Hong Kong-born singer-songwriter Coco Lee has died after battling depression and a failed suicide attempt at home on July 2. She was 48 years of age.

Lee’s sisters, Carol and Nancy Lee, said the Chinese singer tried to take her own life at home on Sunday, before attempts to treat her in a hospital failed and she passed away on Wednesday.

“With great sadness, we are here to break the most devastating news: CoCo had been suffering from depression for a few years but her condition deteriorated drastically over the last few months. Although CoCo sought professional help and did her best to fight depression, sadly that demon inside of her took the better of her,” the Lee sisters said in a Facebook/Instagram post.

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“On 2 July, she committed suicide at home and was sent to the hospital. Despite the best efforts of the hospital team to rescue and treat her from her coma, she finally passed away on 5 July, 2023,” they added.

Born on Jan. 17, 1975 in then British-controlled Hong Kong, Lee made her mark in the U.S. after moving to San Francisco at age 8 with her mother and two sisters. After high school, Lee attended the University of California at Irvine, but her burgeoning pop singing career in Hong Kong eventually won out and she had an eventual commercial breakthrough in Asia.

She rode to the top of the Mandarin and Cantonese pop music markets, and her English-language performances included singing the song “Before I Fall In Love” for the Runaway Bride soundtrack, and the theme song “A Love Before Time” for the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon movie, which she performed at the 2001 Academy Awards.  

Lee also voiced the lead character in the Mandarin version of Disney’s Mulan tentpole. Her family in the social media post paid tribute to the hospital workers who cared for Lee and said their immediate thoughts were with her grieving mother.

“As a family of CoCo, we are very grateful and honored to have such an excellent and outstanding sister. We are thankful to God for giving us such a kind angel. We know now she has gone to a happier place and no longer suffers from depression; we trust God has her best interest looked after! 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,” the Lee sisters wrote.


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