Coco Lee

Hong Kong singer (1975–2023)
(Redirected from CoCo Lee)

Coco Lee (Chinese: ; pinyin: Lǐ mín; born Ferren Lee, 17 January 1975 – 5 July 2023)[1][2][3][1] was a Hong Kong-born American singer and songwriter. Her real name is Ferren Lee-Kelly and 李美林 Lǐ Měi Lín in Chinese (although she also used the stage name 李玟 Lǐ Wen when she wrote songs). She sang Cantonese, Mandarin and English.

Coco Lee
李玟
Lee in 2013
Born
Ferren Lee ()

(1975-01-17)17 January 1975
Died5 July 2023(2023-07-05) (aged 48)
Cause of deathSuicide
Alma materUniversity of California, Irvine
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, actress, dancer
Years active1992–2023
Spouse
Bruce Rockowitz (m. 20112023)
Musical career
OriginBritish Hong Kong
GenresPop, C-pop, dance-pop, hip hop, R&B, soul
LabelsCapital Artists
Fancy Pie
Sony Music Entertainment
550 Music
Epic
Sony BMG
Warner Music Group
Universal Music Group
Chinese name
Chinese李玟
Ferren Lee
Chinese李美琳

Early life

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CoCo Lee was born in Hong Kong to a Chinese Indonesian father [4] and a Hong Kong Chinese mother. Her father died when she was young, and CoCo moved at age 10 with her mother, and her 2 sisters to California, United States. She went through school while trying out her singing voice and she followed her older sisters in entering many local singing contests. CoCo Lee went to high school in San Francisco, California. CoCo later went for a short time to the University of California, Irvine. CoCo is close to her mother, who has at times managed her career.

After Lee's high school graduation in 1993, she went on holiday in Hong Kong, probably seeing her two sisters Carol and Nancy Lee take part in the Miss Hong Kong Pageant, and while there, she became runner-up in the 12th Annual New Talent Singing Awards. The following day, the local record label Capital artists Records contacted her.

Record companies

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CoCo Lee appeared in some compilations with other singers with Capital artists. Then, in 1994 she worked with Fancy Pie Records and recorded four albums with them. She later signed with another record company in 1996 by Sony Music, who has continued to represent her until 2008. After that, she changed her record company and decided to work with Warner Music (Taiwan).

Career

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Coco Lee, 16 September 2006.

CoCo sang the song A Love Before Time for the action-drama movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. People around the world could see her when she sang this song live at the 2001 Academy Awards ceremony.

In 2002, CoCo was the star singer at a Houston Rockets basketball game. She became the first East Asian singer to ever sing the American National Anthem at a major world sporting event.

Aside from her fame in singing Mandarin music, CoCo's English-language songs have also become famous. Her love song Before I Fall In Love was included in the soundtrack of the romance movie Runaway Bride.

Walt Disney Pictures also hired her to sing the title song and be the voice of the heroine Fa Mulan in the Mandarin version of Mulan. She recorded the song Reflections, which she also sang at the 2005 opening of the Hong Kong Disneyland with Lea Salonga. A Reflections PV was also filmed. She also sang an English version which appears on her maxi single Take a chance on love.

CoCo was also an actress. She co-starred in the Chinese comedy movie Master of Everything (Bamboo Shoot) with John Lone, which won the Best Foreign Film award at the 2005 Beverly Hills Film Festival. While in character within the movie, she sings one of her own songs, Di da di.

In the world of fashion, CoCo was an Omega Global Ambassador in 2004, and Chanel named CoCo its first "Asian-Pacific Celebrity Ambassadress" in 2001. She got her nickname "CoCo" from being an admirer of CoCo Chanel.

In June 2005, CoCo's engagement to Canadian millionaire businessman Bruce Rockowitz was made public, although it seems to have happened some months earlier. Even though Rockowitz is 18 years older than she, her mother approved the marriage.

CoCo returned to the San Francisco bay area in 2007 for a live concert at the Shoreline Amphitheatre on 22 September 2007 with special guest Alex To. It was her first live performance in her hometown in several years.

In 2008, Coco was chosen to sing one of the Olympic songs, "Forever Friends", opposite Sun Nan.

On 17 July 2009, she had a solo concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. She's the first Chinese singer to ever performed in this place. She notably sang 3 Michael Jackson's songs Gone too soon, Rock with you and The way you make me feel in homage to her idol.

On 14 August, she released her new Mandarin album East to west with Warner Music. The main hit singles are Party time, Beautiful theme song and Turn. It also contains the cover of Jay Sean's Maybe called Love now and BYOB, a song to encourage people to bring and recycle their own shopping bags to save the environment.

She recorded the song Smile Shanghai (微笑上海) with other artists including JJ Lin, Andy Lau, Jam Hsiao or Jane Zhang for Shanghai World Expo 2010.

On March, 27 2010, Lee began her "East2West" World Tour Concert in Taipei at Taipei Arena. She pursued at the Encore Theatre in Wynn Casino in Las Vegas on 3 and 4 July, then in Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore on 2 October and in Nanning on 16 December.

In March 2011, Lee was one of many artists participating in the recording of "Artists 311 Love Beyond Borders" (愛心無國界311燭光晚會) official theme song called Succomb not to sorrow (不要輸給心痛) in Cantonese version.

On 7 April 2011, her song Dreams on oriental seas (梦在东方的海上) featuring Sun Nan was broadcasted. It had been named as he theme for the 14th FINA world championships. It took take place in Shanghai in July 2011.[5]

On 8 June 2011, Lee announced that she recently set up her own studio. That way, she was more free to write and produce music that she loved. Her newest album was planned for Summer 2011.

On 25 June, her song Four seas alliance (四海盟約), the theme song for the 2011 China television drama Water Margin (水滸傳), was broadcasted.

Lee attempted suicide on 2 July 2023, and was sent to the hospital in an unconscious state. She died three days later. She was 48 years old.[6]

CoCo Lee's voice has been favourably compared with that of Mariah Carey and other western artistes, due to her tonality, strength and vocal range. Her voice is classified as a light-lyric soprano, with a vocal range of three octaves. Her lowest recorded note is an E3 and highest recorded note is E6. Her highest chest voice note is F6 in the song Before I Fall in Love.

Discography

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Studio albums

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Fancy Pie Records releases
  • June 1994: Love from Now On
  • December 1994: Promise Me
  • June 1995: Brave Enough to Love
  • September 1995: Woman in Love
  • December 1995 : You are in my heart concert
  • August 1996 : Beloved Collection
  • May 1997: Dance with the wind
Sony Music releases
  • March 1996: CoCo Lee (or Love me longer)
  • November 1996: CoCo's Party
  • June 1997: Sincere
  • November 1997: CoCo Lee (Cantonese album)
  • January 1998: DiDaDi (HMV Music Chart: #1)
  • July 1998: Sunny Day
  • December 1998 : Million fans concert
  • May 1999: Today Until Forever
550 Music release
  • November 1999: Just No Other Way (HMV Music Chart: #1)
Sony Music releases
  • January 2000 : The Best of My Love
  • August 2000: True lover you and Me
  • October 2001: Promise
  • June 2002 : D. IS CoCo
Sony BMG releases
  • March 2005: Exposed (HMV Music Chart: #1)
  • September 2006: Just Want You (HMV Music Chart: #1)
  • May 2008 : 1994–2008 Best Collection
Warner Music releases
  • August 2009: East To West

Maxi singles

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Sony Music releases
  • April 1998 : Di da di color remix
  • August 1998 : Take a chance on love
550 Music releases
  • 1999 : Do you want my love
  • 2000 : Wherever you go

Compilations

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Capital Artists releases
  • June 1993 : Red hot hits 93' Autumn edition (火熱動感93'勁秋版)
Capital Artists and Fancy Pie releases
  • September 1994 : Red hot hits 94' Love Party[7] (火熱動感94'戀愛Party)
  • November 1994 : Statement of love, duet songs (愛情宣言, 情歌對唱)
  • December 1994 : Merry Christmas (聖誕禮讚)
  • 1995 : I'm still your lover (best of Love from now on and Promise me)[8]

Asian Chart-topping hits and singles

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Not exhaustive

  • "Yesterday's passion"
  • "Di Da Di"
  • "Take a Chance on Love"
  • "Do You Want My Love" Hot Dance Music/Club Play: #49
  • "Before I Fall in Love"
  • "Wherever You Go"
  • "A Love Before Time" (English and Mandarin for the soundtrack of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
  • "Reflection"
  • "No Doubt" feat. Blaaze
  • "All Around the World"
  • "So Good"
  • "Hip-Hop Tonight"
  • "Brave Enough to Love"
  • "Another Sad Love Song" (Dance Version)
  • "The Ninth Night"
  • "Dangerous Lover"
  • "I Have a Dream" (2008 Single)
  • "Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB)" (Recycling Jingle)
  • "Party time"
  • "Turn"
  • "Beautiful theme song"

Videography

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Coco (on the left), performing "Hip Hop Tonight"
Fancy Pie releases
  • 1995 : Foot print (VCD)
  • 1995 : You're in my heart concert (VCD)
Sony Music releases
  • 1996 : Coco's workout camp (VCD)
  • 1998 : Coco in Italy (VCD + photo book)
  • 1998 : Di da di (VCD)
  • 1998 : Sunny day (VCD)
  • 1999 : Million fans concert (VCD/DVD)
550 Music releases
  • 2000 : Just no other way, The Video Collection (VCD)
Sony Music releases
  • 2002 : Coco so crazy (VCD)
  • 2002 : All my Coco (DVD)
  • 2004 : Master of everything (DVD/VCD)

References

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  1. 1.0 1.1 軻貴妃 (21 June 2009). "為 Coco者". 副刊 (in Chinese). Apple Daily. Retrieved 13 April 2016. (Coco──原本叫李美琳的李玟) Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "hkapple-2009" defined multiple times with different content
  2. "快訊/李玟驚傳過世!享年48歲 親姊姊發文證實噩耗│TVBS新聞網". News.tvbs.com.tw. Retrieved 5 July 2023.
  3. "星運因名字而改變?藝人真名紀錄冊大公開" (in Chinese). Epoch Times. 21 February 2003. Archived from the original on 5 May 2016. Retrieved 13 April 2016. (李玟的原名是「李美林」……李玟本名「李美琳」……)epochtimes Archived 2017-12-08 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "李玟讲述甜蜜爱情 自曝与男友前妻成好友 - part 1 (00:21)". YouTube. 2009. Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  5. "14th FINA World Championships 2011 - People's Republic of China | FINA Official". FINA - Fédération Internationale De Natation. Retrieved 28 December 2022.
  6. "快訊/李玟驚傳過世!享年48歲 親姊姊發文證實噩耗│TVBS新聞網". News.tvbs.com.tw. Retrieved 5 July 2023.
  7. "天翼爱音乐". www.imusic.cn. Archived from the original on 28 December 2022. Retrieved 28 December 2022.
  8. 李玟 - 我依然是你的情人, retrieved 28 December 2022

Other websites

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