Lesbian pop star's suicide stuns fans

Top News | Charlotte Luo 6 Aug 2018

Stunned fans were grieving last night after lesbian pop singer Ellen Joyce Loo, of the duo At17, fell to her death from the rooftop of a block of flats in Happy Valley.

Police believe Loo, who lived on the 33rd floor, jumped.

Police were called about a person falling from Le Cachet on Sing Woo Road at 9.50am. Loo, aged 32, was certified dead on the third-floor podium.

Several friends and relatives arrived to help the police investigation.

Loo's assistant burst into tears while Cantopop singer and actor Denise Ho Wan-see comforted her.

The case was classified as suicide by police after checking CCTV footage of the building.

Police said no suicide note had been found. Initial investigations showed there were no suspicious circumstances.

The night before her death, Loo attended filming for a TV program, Good Night Show - King Maker, with singer Terence Tsui, better known as Siu Fay, and Phil Lam.

Siu Fay said he talked to Loo via WhatsApp around 8am. He said they made an appointment to have a drink on Monday night.

Loo's WhatsApp showed she was last online at 9.55am - only five minutes before she leapt to her death.

Her wife, Taiwanese cinematographer Fisher Yu Jing-ping, was in Chongqing city in the mainland when the incident happened.

She was on her way back yesterday.

Loo was seen on Friday night at a press conference for singer Eason Chan Yick-shun's contract renewal with Universal Music Hong Kong.

She looked slim at just 45 kilos.

The singer revealed in 2015 she had been diagnosed with manic depression in 2013, and there was an improvement after two years of treatment.

Loo revealed her sexual orientation in her speech when collecting an award at the 28th Golden Melody Awards in Taiwan last year. She thanked her wife, who she married in 2016.

She posted on Facebook four days ago that she would "do something big in the near future."

"Today I prepared to do something big. This is one of the things I do for myself since I turned 30. I considered it very important. I've also set a new goal," she wrote with in a selfie.

"Finally, I understand why people like taking selfies. Because when morale is high, people would really want to take a picture of themselves."

Born in Toronto in 1986, Loo moved to Hong Kong when she was four.

She entered a music competition in Hong Kong, "Original Music 2000" organized by Tom Lee Music, with her older brother P J Loo and together they won the third prize.

Loo was later signed up by the music production company People Mountain People Sea.

At 15 years old, she formed the band at17 with Eman Lam Yee-man.

After the duo decided to split temporarily in 2010, Loo began to pursue her solo career in Taiwan.

Loo won Best Arrangement in the vocal category at Taiwan's 28th Golden Melody Awards last year. In her acceptance speech she announced she was a lesbian and thanked her wife.

"I have to thank her for making my life more complete," Loo said.

"I know the world is imperfect, my music is imperfect, myself am imperfect, but with you, who needs perfection?"

The crowd erupted in cheers as Loo revealed she got married in 2016 in Canada. Loo has been a vocal supporter of LGBT rights for years and an advocate of same-sex marriage.

On her profile of People Mountain People Sea, Loo was described as a woman who liked photography, watching live shows, jogging and cycling.

She told about her depression and eating disorder at a seminar at the University of Hong Kong in 2015.

Two years later, Loo revealed to online media that her mental disorder dated back to 2003. When she was 17 years old, she had a light depression. Ten years later, she sank into depression again after ending her concert.

She felt no satisfaction. Her mood was down. She had continuous insomnia. She did not want to eat or pick up the phone when friends rang.

She saw a psychiatrist and started to take anti-depression pills, which led to another symptom - extreme excitement.

She felt she was on fire and punched walls at home and felt agitated at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning.

She ran downstairs, jumped on a random bus and eventually got lost. She found her way back home using a Google map on her phone. Later she was diagnosed with manic depressive illness.

The suicide rate for Hong Kong based artists is relatively low, compared with Korea.

Hong Kong's most shocking suicide was popular actor and singer Leslie Cheung Kwok-win.

Cheung leapt to his death from the 24th floor of the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Central on April 1, 2003. He left a suicide note saying that he had been suffering from depression. He was 46.

In Korea more than 40 artistes have committed suicide in the past 13 years.

More reports: Page 6

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