Coco Lee, a Chinese American singer and songwriter who captivated audiences across Asia and achieved international acclaim with her Oscar-nominated song in the film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," tragically passed away at the age of 48.
The news of her death was confirmed by her sisters, Carol and Nancy Lee, who revealed that Coco had taken her own life after a prolonged battle with depression. Born in Hong Kong on January 17, 1975, Coco Lee ventured into the music industry after finishing as the runner-up in a singing competition hosted by TVB in Hong Kong in 1993.
This unexpected success paved the way for her debut album with a Taiwanese record label the following year. Coco's career skyrocketed, and she became a prominent pop star throughout Asia.
Oscar-Nominated Global Breakthrough: Coco Lee
However, it was her heartfelt rendition of "A Love Before Time" for the movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" that introduced her to a global audience.
The song, which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, showcased Coco's unique ability to fuse the essence of Eastern and Western music. Her breathtaking performance at the 2001 Academy Awards remains etched in the memories of millions.
Beyond music, Coco Lee lent her talent to the Mandarin version of Disney's "Mulan," both as the singing voice of the lead character and the performer of the film's theme song, "Reflection." Her versatility and passion propelled her beyond the boundaries of the music industry.
While Coco Lee enjoyed a fulfilling career, her personal struggles with depression intensified over the past months. Despite seeking professional help and making valiant efforts to combat her inner demons, the weight of her condition proved overwhelming.
Coco Lee's influence and achievements extended far beyond her music. She worked tirelessly to break barriers for Chinese singers in the international music scene and left a lasting impact with her exceptional live performances.
This year marked the 30th anniversary of her remarkable singing career, a milestone her sisters acknowledged in their statement. Her passing leaves behind her husband, Bruce Rockowitz, and two stepdaughters, along with countless fans who admired her talent and resilience.
In her final single, "Tragic," released in February, Coco Lee shared her emotions and experiences. She acknowledged the hardships she faced but urged her followers to spread positivity and serve as influential figures, inspiring others.
The world mourns the loss of a remarkable artist who touched hearts with her music and paved the way for future generations of Chinese singers. Coco Lee's legacy will forever be remembered as a beacon of inspiration, reminding us of the profound impact one individual can make on the world.