Coco Lee: Pop singer and star of Disney's Mulan dies aged 48

Lee was taken to hospital after an incident at home at the weekend, her sister said.

Singer and songwriter CoCo Lee has died from suicide at the age of 48, her siblings have said.

The Hong Kong-born star had been living with depression for several years, her older sisters Carol and Nancy Lee said in a statement on Facebook and Instagram on Wednesday.

Her condition is said to have worsened drastically over the last few months.

Lee was taken to hospital after an incident at home at the weekend, her sister said.

She was in a coma before dying on Wednesday.

Lee, who was born Ferren Lee and moved to the United States as a youngster and went to school there, had a successful career in Asia as a pop singer in the 1990s and 2000s and was known for her powerful voice and live performances.

She became a singer after winning first runner up in an annual singing competition held by broadcaster TVB in Hong Kong and released her first album in 1994 aged 19.

Although Lee was initially a Mandopop singer, she branched out to release albums in Cantonese and English over her nearly 30-year career.

She was the voice of heroine Fa Mulan in the Mandarin version of Disney’s Mulan and also sung the Mandarin version of the film’s theme song Reflection.

In 2011, Lee married Bruce Rockowitz, a Canadian businessman who is the former chief executive of Hong Kong supply chain company Li & Fung.

While she had two stepdaughters from her marriage with Rockowitz, Lee did not have children of her own.

“CoCo is also known to have worked tirelessly to open up a new world for Chinese singers in the international music scene, and she went all out to shine for the Chinese,” her sisters said in their post.

“We are proud of her!”

Lee was the first Chinese singer to break into the American market and her English song Do You Want My Love charted at number four on Billboard’s Hot Dance Breakouts chart in December 1999.

Mandopop singer-songwriter Wang Leehom paid tribute to Lee in an Instagram post, describing her as the “biggest star” whom everyone wanted to work with.

“In the music industry, Coco Lee broke down international barriers, before any other Chinese singer did,” he wrote.

“Let’s always remember her, as a brave pioneer, and an important musical legend.”

Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai posted a message on Facebook that read “R.I.P., your bright smile will always be remembered.”

Anyone who needs support can call Samaritans free of charge on 116 123, email, or visit the Samaritans website.

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