Last Updated on 2023-07-11 , 8:46 am
Yesterday (5 July) night, Hong Kong-born singer Coco Lee’s sisters announced on social media that she had passed away.
Lee, 48, had died by suicide after battling depression for years.
As one of the most prominent stars in the Chinese entertainment industry, Lee had successful career endeavours across various regions in Asia.
And in honour of Lee, here are ten facts about the globally-known star.
She Debuted 30 Years Ago
For those of you who haven’t been counting, 2023 marks the 30th year since Lee’s debut.
She debuted at the young age of 18 in 1993 by participating in several compilation albums.
However, her own debut album, Love from Now On, was only released the next year, in June 1994.
Since then, she released 19 studio albums and many other live albums and songs.
Some of her most well-known songs include A Love Before Time, Di Da Di and Before I Fall in Love.
She Had to Go Through Surgery When She Was 2 Years Old
In a Weibo post uploaded in February, Lee revealed that health problems have been plaguing her since she was a child.
In particular, she spoke about how she was born with issues in her left leg.
Her mother noticed the issues when she was a toddler and immediately sent her to the hospital for surgery when she was just two years old.
However, the surgery was unsuccessful.
In the end, the doctors had to insert a thick metal rod through her heel and wrap her leg in a cast.
According to her, she was extremely scarred by the experience, especially since she did not have the company of her mother or sisters.
She Has Dealt With Intense Pain in Her Leg Ever Since
In the same post, she also revealed the trauma that the failed surgery brought about.
She mentioned that she ended up putting most of her weight on her right leg and that this habit continued even through her adulthood.
As someone who often incorporated dancing into her performances, she recounted how she would be in intense pain after rehearsals or performances.
However, she made sure to never let audience members and fans see her in pain, as she always wanted to present the best side of her.
“As long as everyone is happy [after watching my performance], any amount of pain is worth it,” she said in her post, which was written in Chinese.
She Quit University to Pursue Her Career
Prior to becoming an internationally-known pop star, Lee had initially enrolled in university.
She was enrolled at the University of California, Irvine and intended to pursue a psychology degree.
However, she was offered a record deal in Hong Kong after graduating from high school in San Fransisco, California.
In the end, she chose to leave university after completing her first year to focus on her career.
She Underwent Major Surgery Earlier This Year and Had to Relearn How to Walk
Earlier this year, in February, she also revealed through multiple posts on Weibo that she underwent major surgery for her leg.
She shared that her left leg started causing problems for her last October after a dance rehearsal as a nerve had gotten compressed.
Lee added that she needed to be a strong warrior now and that she would be undergoing surgery to alleviate the pain she had been experiencing.
After the surgery, she uploaded a video documenting her process before and after getting the surgery.
In the caption of the video, she mentioned that she needed to relearn how to walk, but she would face her predicament bravely.
She Completely Lost Her Voice in 2016 Due to Acute Bronchitis
And surgery’s not the only thing Lee went through in terms of her health.
In February 2016, she revealed that she had completely lost her voice due to acute bronchitis.
Netizens also speculated that she had gone through other health-related issues before her passing, for she uploaded photos of a drainage bag attached to her and a concerning photo of her weighing 42.3kg on her Instagram account in January this year.
She Was Married to a Hong Kong-based Canadian Businessman
In October 2011, Lee married her husband after eight years of dating.
Her husband, Bruce Rockowitz, is a Boston-born and Hong Kong-based businessman.
He was 17 years her senior.
From 2011 to 2014, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Li&Fung, a supply chain company in Hong Kong.
Currently, Rockowitz also holds other positions in other companies.
Some positions he holds are the position of chairman of Rock Media International, as well as co-founder and non-executive chairman of Pure Group, a fitness and restaurant chain.
Her Husband Was Rumoured to Have Cheated on Her Multiple Times, but She Never Addressed the Rumours Directly
Over the years, Chinese media repeatedly reported that Rockowitz had cheated on Lee.
One of Lee’s close friends had apparently exposed him for cheating on her with “young, Western female counterparts”.
The friend also claimed that Lee forgave him the first time he cheated on her, but he continued to do so multiple times after that.
Apart from that, Rockowitz’s two daughters from his previous marriage apparently took their father’s side too.
However, Lee never addressed these rumours herself.
She also did not address rumours regarding the couple’s alleged separation.
She Had Apparently Gone Through 9 Rounds of IVF
In the same post, the friend shared that Lee went through nine rounds of Intra-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).
Back in 2018, she publicly announced that she was going through IVF in New York to try for a baby with Rockowitz.
She also revealed that she hoped to have two children through the procedure.
However, she and Rockowitz did not end up having children together.
Her Last Song Was About Being a Fighter
Prior to her passing, Lee’s last song was released in May.
The song, titled “战歌” (“Fight Song”) in Chinese, was the theme song for Soul Land, an animated television series.
In the song, inspirational lyrics such as “[I’ve] gone through pain, blood and tears; but even after being filled with doubt, I start over again as a promise to fate” recount the state of a fighter who never gives up.
When promoting the song, she also encouraged her followers to pursue their dreams and face challenges bravely.