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CoCo Lee, ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ and ‘Mulan’ singer, dies at 48, family says

The Hong Kong-born singer-songwriter's death was confirmed by her sisters.
/ Source: TODAY

This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741741 or visit for additional resources.

CoCo Lee, a singer-songwriter who provided the voice for the protagonist Mulan in the Mandarin-language version of Disney's animated movie "Mulan," has died.

Lee's sisters, Carol and Nancy, confirmed on Instagram and Facebook that the singer passed away July 5 following a suicide attempt at her home on July 2. She was 48.

"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,” the sisters said in a statement.

Coco Lee
CoCo Lee, seen here in 2016, provided the voice for the protagonist Mulan in the Mandarin-language version of Disney's animated movie "Mulan." She died July 5.Visual China Group via Getty Images

“Although CoCo sought professional help and did her best to fight depression, sadly that demon inside of her took the better of her," they continued. "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."

The sisters noted that 2023 marked the 30th anniversary of Lee's singing career.

"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. We are proud of her!" they wrote.

They went on to say they were “very grateful and honored to have such an excellent and outstanding sister,” adding that they knew Lee had “gone to a happier place and no longer suffers from depression.”

“Now, our greatest responsibility is to take good care of our elderly mother,” they added. “I hope everyone will pray for this poor old lady & allow us time & privacy in healing.”

The sisters concluded their statement by thanking the medical staff who cared for Lee. They also urged Lee's fans to "treat people with sincerity, and convey kindness and love to everyone around us."

Lee was born in Hong Kong and later moved to the U.S., where she attended middle school and high school, according to the Associated Press.

She was a pop star in Asia, first finding success in the Mandopop (Mandarin-language pop) music scene before she began recording Cantonese and English language music.

Lee voiced the heroine Mulan in the Mandarin version of Disney’s “Mulan” and also performed the movie’s theme song “Reflection.”

In 2001, the singer performed the Oscar-nominated song “A Love Before Time” from Ang Lee’s Chinese-language film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” at the Academy Awards.

In 2011, Lee married Bruce Rockowitz, a Canadian businessman.

Lee's last Instagram post on December 31, 2022, featured images of the words "love" and "faith" tattooed on wrists, as well as another photo of a woman lifting her shirt to reveal a surgical drainage tube attached to her torso.

In her caption, Lee revealed that she had experienced an "incredibly difficult year."

"Life seemed unbearable at times but I adapted the attitude of a 'female warrior' to face them head on fearlessly but always had the biggest smile and big fat laughters!" she wrote.

"My goal in 2023 is to share my life story n how i faced major life changing hurdles n still manage to keep a positive attitude," she continued, noting that she was "grateful everyday to be alive."