Houa “Jade” Lee was born in Saint Paul, MN to first generation Hmong immigrants. At an early age of five, Lee became captivated by music, specifically opera at the time, watching the famous Hmong-Chinese opera singer Mee Hang on VHS at home. Inspired by Mee Hang, Lee began singing and soon at the age of seven began dancing. At ten years old, she began singing in a group with her cousin and seriously began writing songs, choreographing dance moves and mainly developing and training herself as an artist. During her sophomore year at age 15, Lee stepped into the music world and began performing more shows on her own such as the: Asian Talent Show, Multicultural Shows, School Talent Shows, etc. Loved and respected by her high school, Lee appealed to many diverse crowds as a singer/dancer.
She then won her high school’s singing competition, “Harding Idol” by the vote of a diverse student body of 3,000 people and by 17 as a senior, she had the honor to sing the national anthem for her entire school at the 2005 Pep Festival and received a standing ovation. Also that year Lee and her cousin reunited to write a song titled, “No More” which was dedicated to the Hmong Jao Fa whom were trapped in the jungles of Laos (a Southeast Asian country) by the Communist government. The cd compilation was called, “The H-Project” funded by CHAT (the Center for Hmong Arts & Talent) to bring awareness on the Hmong Jao Fa genocide occurring overseas in Southeast Asia. Out of many of the hundred nationwide artists whom submitted their songs to compete and get on the c.d. only 16 would be chosen. Lee and her cousin’s song was one of the few chosen. Lee also took participation in several solo public performances within the community such as: Rice Street Festival Talent Show, Hmong Idol, Hmong New Year Talent shows, In-Session Songwriting Contest, CHAT Ice Open Mics and Hmong Arts & Festivals. At the age of 18, Lee auditioned to get the lead role of a romantic/comedy titled, “Tou & Mai”, a Hmong film by one of the community’s top award-winning director by the name of Kang Vang. The 2006 film had great success and gained Lee much recognition and respect as an entertainer within her own community and also in the nationwide Hmong communities. The movie review/biography was featured in the Hmong Today newspaper and as well online forums, websites. Lee was also featured on the Hmoob Teen magazine cover in 2006 and then in early 2008, Lee was featured on the cover of the community’s leading newspaper Hmong Times and then in the Asian American Press being recognized as one of the best upcoming and talented Asian artists/entertainer. Appealing to every audience and fan-base, Lee has a golden personality, humble mentality and undying passion for her love in music, acting, dancing and writing.
Lee’s original song, “I Promise” which she wrote for the soundtrack of “Tou & Mai” gained more than 150,000 hits on IMEEM and was also nominated as one of the 'Best of Hmong CHAT Radio" songs recently in December 2010. In 2007, Lee and her cousin reunited for one last performance on the stage at the Hmong New Year in front of a crowd of 10,000 people and sang their hit, “No More”. In return, the Hmong people’s leader, General Vang Pao and his wife deeply praised the song, giving recognition and thanks to Lee and her cousin for writing such a passionate song and not forgetting those who have been forgotten. Lee has been featured in the Hmong Times newspaper (2010 and 2007), Hmong Today newspaper for Tou & Mai (2006), Hmoob Teen magazine as a role model (2010), Fresno Bee newspaper for Daim Duab (2009), Asian American Press newspaper and online (2007), hmongenews.com, justhmong.com "Entertainment" section, specialasiamusic.com, CHAT Hmong Radio (90.3: MPLS, 106.7: St. Paul), Hmong Minnesota Radio (worldwide), Hmong Radio Fresno (KBIF: 900 AM).