Remembering Coco Lee: The Unforgettable Voice Behind ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ and ‘Mulan’ Passes Away at 48

Remember the iconic Coco Lee, the Hong Kong-born singer and musical legend. Discover her successful career, her battle with depression, and her contributions to the international music scene.

Coco Lee

Coco Lee, a highly successful singer and songwriter hailing from Hong Kong, tragically passed away at the age of 48. In this article, we will explore Coco Lee’s remarkable career, her struggles with depression, and her immense contributions to the music industry. Despite her untimely demise, Coco Lee’s legacy as a trailblazer and musical legend will forever be remembered.

Rising Star

Coco Lee, who was born Ferren Lee in Hong Kong, moved to the US and went to middle and high school in San Francisco. Her musical journey began when she emerged as the first runner-up in an annual singing competition organized by broadcaster TVB in Hong Kong. At the young age of 19, Coco released her debut album in 1994, marking the beginning of a nearly 30-year-long career.

A Versatile Talent

Initially recognized as a Mandopop performer, Coco Lee eventually added albums in Cantonese and English to her discography. Her powerful voice and captivating live performances garnered her widespread acclaim. Coco Lee dedicated herself to breaking down barriers for Chinese singers in the international music scene, making significant strides for her fellow artists.

Global Recognition

Coco Lee’s remarkable achievements extended beyond Asia, as she became the first Chinese singer to make a breakthrough in the American market. Her English song “Do You Want My Love” achieved great success, peaking at #4 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Breakouts chart in December 1999. Additionally, Coco Lee made her mark in the world of cinema by lending her voice to the Mandarin version of Disney’s Mulan and recording the Mandarin rendition of the movie’s theme song, “Reflection.”

Personal Struggles

Tragically, Coco Lee battled depression for several years. Her elder sisters, Carol and Nancy Lee, revealed that her condition had significantly worsened in recent months. Despite seeking professional help and displaying unwavering strength in her fight against depression, Coco ultimately succumbed to the demons within her. In a heartfelt statement, her sisters expressed their pride in Coco’s tireless efforts to elevate Chinese singers on the global stage.

A Symbol of Strength

In her final Instagram post, dated December 31, 2022, Coco Lee shared images that reflected her inner strength. The post featured tattoos of the words “love” and “faith,” serving as constant reminders of the values she held dear. Coco Lee described the past year as incredibly challenging, yet she adopted the mindset of a fearless “female warrior” to confront her difficulties head-on.

A Resilient Spirit

In March, Coco Lee underwent surgery to address an old leg injury that resurfaced during a dance practice in October 2022. Despite enduring pain and the need to relearn how to walk, she remained determined and optimistic. Coco Lee expressed her unwavering belief in her ability to overcome obstacles and emerge stronger.

Tributes and Legacy

The news of Coco Lee’s passing sent shockwaves through the music industry and beyond. Fellow Mandopop singer-songwriter Wang Leehom paid tribute to her, emphasizing her groundbreaking accomplishments and describing her as the “biggest star” sought after by all. Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai also expressed her condolences, assuring Coco Lee’s bright smile would be forever cherished.


1. What were Coco Lee’s notable accomplishments in her music career? Coco Lee achieved remarkable success throughout her career. She broke into the American market as the first Chinese singer, with her song “Do You Want My Love” reaching #4 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Breakouts chart in 1999. She also lent her voice to the Mandarin version of Disney’s Mulan and sang the Mandarin rendition of the movie’s theme song, “Reflection.”

2. How did Coco Lee contribute to the international music scene? Coco Lee tirelessly worked to open doors for Chinese singers in the international music scene. She challenged boundaries and paved the way for future artists, serving as a brave pioneer and an important musical legend.

3. What challenges did Coco Lee face during her life? Coco Lee battled depression for several years, and her condition deteriorated significantly in the months leading up to her passing. Despite seeking professional help and displaying immense strength, she ultimately succumbed to the internal struggles she faced.

4. How did Coco Lee inspire others through her personal experiences? Coco Lee shared her journey of resilience and strength with her followers. Despite enduring pain and undergoing surgery to address a leg injury, she maintained an unwavering spirit and encouraged others to face challenges head-on.

5. How will Coco Lee be remembered? Coco Lee will be remembered as a trailblazer who pushed boundaries and shattered stereotypes. Her powerful voice, captivating performances, and unwavering dedication to her craft will forever leave an indelible mark on the music industry.


Coco Lee’s tragic passing has left a void in the music world, but her legacy as a talented singer, a resilient spirit, and a trailblazer will continue to inspire generations to come. Her contributions to the international music scene and her unwavering pursuit of excellence will be remembered fondly. Let us honor Coco Lee’s memory by celebrating her achievements and cherishing the music she shared with the world.

Leave a Comment