Famous Chinese-American singer-songwriter Coco Lee dies after battle with depression
Published: Jul 06, 2023 12:05 AM Updated: Jul 05, 2023 11:44 PM
CoCo Lee sings during a signing promotion event for her new album

CoCo Lee sings during a signing promotion event for her new album "Illuminate" in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan, Aug. 2, 2013. (Xinhua)

Famous Chinese-American singer-songwriter Coco Lee took her own life at home on July 2 and remained unconscious after being admitted to the hospital. Despite tireless efforts of the medical team, she sadly passed away on July 5. Lee was unfortunately diagnosed with depression several years ago.

CoCo Lee tragically took her own life in her Hong Kong apartment on July 2. She was discovered by her mother, who immediately contacted her other two daughters and alerted the authorities.

The obituary reveals that CoCo Lee took her own life due to her long-standing battle with depression. It is known that several years ago, she experienced marital issues that led to the development of depression, despite her naturally cheerful disposition.

However, CoCo Lee made continuous efforts to seek treatment, often immersing herself in work to uplift her spirits. Unfortunately, her condition deteriorated rapidly in recent times. Her mother, who is in her 80s, and her two sisters were aware of the severity of the situation and provided round-the-clock support, while many friends also visited her to offer companionship.

"2023 would have marked CoCo's 30th anniversary since her debut. Over the course of 29 years, she has not only delighted us with energetic performances and thrilling dances, but also tirelessly worked to pave a new path for Chinese singers in the international music scene," Lee's two sisters said in the statement.

CoCo Lee, an esteemed singer-songwriter with a career spanning 30 years, stands as the sole Asian songstress to grace the stage of the World Cup opening ceremony. In 1998, she had the privilege of lending her voice to the World Cup anthem, "Colours."

In 1993, at the age of 18, CoCo returned to Hong Kong to participate in the "New Talent Singing Awards" organized by TVB. She achieved second place in the competition and subsequently signed a contract with Hong Kong's Star Records Company, officially embarking on her music career.

As the first Chinese singer to break into the international market, CoCo's rendition of the song "A Love Before Time" earned her a nomination for Best Original Song at the 73rd Academy Awards, making her the first Chinese singer to perform at the Oscars.

"CoCo consistently dedicated herself to shining a spotlight on the Chinese community, and we take great pride in her accomplishments," said CoCo's two sisters.

In February 2016, CoCo revealed that she had completely lost her voice due to acute bronchitis and experienced severe throat conditions.

In February 2023, CoCo disclosed her "greatest fear in life" -- she was born with a defect in her left leg, and despite unsuccessful surgeries, she had relied on her right leg for singing and dancing on stage all these years. After enduring pain for many years, she was no longer able to lead a normal life and required hospitalization for treatment.

"I want to learn how to walk again like a warrior," said CoCo on social media after completing her leg surgery in March this year.

Lee once sent a voice message on the day she committed suicide to her fans saying that she has felt the love and support from her fans and she was trying hard again.

"I miss you very much also," Lee said,Beijing Youth Daily reported. The news of CoCo's death quickly became the hottest topic on Weibo, with more than 740 million views around 10:30 pm on Wednesday on Weibo.

Chinese netizens gave her high remarks for her achievements in music and expressed condolences to her family. "Missing Coco, she is a singer that Chinese are proud of. She is generous and gentle, who has brought encouragement and comfort to several generations," one netizen wrote. "Her name will always remain in modern Chinese music," another netizen wrote.

Lee's account has 10.48 million followers on Chinese twitter-like Sina Weibo. The latest information was released on May 20 via her Weibo account, in which she was promoting her new song Battle Song.

More than 1,000 netizens replied under her account in just minutes after the news came out. "I don't believe it!" "I hope it's fake news!" Many netizens expressed sadness and were not willing to accept it.

Lee's fans from the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and the island of Taiwan, and other regions were all shocked and sad on the news. "Rest in peace, and thank you for bringing us so much beautiful music," a netizen tweeted under Lee's Twitter account on Wednesday.

Global Times