Coco Lee – a Hong Kong-born singer who starred in Disney’s Mulan – has died at the age of 48.
The star died in hospital in Hong Kong on Wednesday following a suicide attempt at her home over the weekend, her family said in a statement.
She had been suffering from depression for several years, according to her elder sisters Carol and Nancy Lee, who shared a post on social media.
“Although, Coco sought professional help and did her best to fight depression, sadly that demon inside of her took the better of her,” they said.
Singer-songwriter Wang Leehom paid tribute to Lee in an Instagram post, describing her as the “biggest star”.
“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.”
Born Ferren Lee in Hong Kong in 1975, moved to the US with her mother and sister and attended school in San Francisco.
Lee later returned to Hong Kong, where she pursued a music career.
She won the first runner-up in an annual singing competition held by broadcaster TVB in Hong Kong and signed with Sony Music Entertainment in 1996.
Her eponymous debut album became the best-selling album of that year in Asia.
Lee started off as a singer of Mandopop – Mandarin pop music – but later branched out to release albums in Cantonese and English over her nearly 30-year career.
Her English song “Do You Want My Love” charted in the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot Dance Breakouts chart in December 1999.
Lee was the voice of heroine Fa Mulan in the Mandarin version of Disney’s Mulan and sang the Mandarin version of the film’s theme song “Reflection”.
She also performed the Oscar-nominated song “A Love Before Time” from the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Lee married Bruce Rockowitz, a Canadian businessman who is the former CEO of Hong Kong supply chain company Li & Fung, in 2011.
The couple did not have children together, though she was a stepmother to Mr Rockowtiz’s two children.
In December last year, Lee posted on Instagram saying she was getting through an “incredibly difficult year”.
“Love & Faith – my two favourite words that I carry strongly in my heart which I desperately needed to get through this incredibly difficult year,” she wrote in the caption.
“Life seemed unbearable at times, but I adapted the attitude of a ‘female warrior’ to face them head on fearlessly,” the caption read.
In March last year, she posted about having to relearn how to walk after undergoing surgery for an old leg injury.
Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email [email protected] in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK