It has been almost a year since the Sichuan earthquake killed almost 90,000 people and left 5 million homeless in the province. Since the tragedy, many Hongkongers have supported relief efforts, including singer CoCo Lee, who recently joined the South China Morning Post's Homes for Hope project, dedicated to rebuilding homes and lives in Sichuan. 'When I heard about this project, I thought it was a great thing. Regardless of whether you are a celebrity or the Hong Kong chief executive, I think anybody can help. I just hope the people in Sichuan know that we really do care,' she said. Lee said she was devastated when she first heard about the quake and immediately donated HK$500,000 to the Red Cross to aid relief work in the worst-hit areas. 'Sichuan is a place that means a lot to me. My mum was born there; she is a real 'Sichuan-ren' [Sichuan-native],' she said. Some of her family still reside near Sichuan and Lee said she had visited the province many times as a child and has fond memories of the region, including an unforgettable concert she performed there about six years ago. 'It was probably the worst possible weather for a concert,' Lee (above) said. 'It was raining - there was a downpour - but everybody stayed. The emotion that came from the crowd was so touching. I got completely soaked, my costumes were all ruined and my [fake] lashes were half tangled on my face but it didn't matter.' Lee is not only generous, she is also one of the world's most popular entertainers. The star was recently ranked 15th on a list of the world's 25 sexiest pop divas by E! Entertainment, ahead of other sexy goddesses including Jennifer Lopez and Kylie Minogue. The singer said she had no idea she was on the list and only found out when a fellow passenger on a flight told her about it. 'I haven't done anything in the States for a while and I am so happy that they still remember me. To have Madonna, J.Lo and all these people ranked below me, it's such a big honour. Now my friends make fun of me, calling me number 15.' Lee, 33, who gave an impressive rendition of her Oscar-nominated single, A Love Before Time, at the Academy Awards ceremony in 2001, said she was always the 'shy kid' in her family, growing up in the shadow of her two elder sisters - Carol and Nancy. 'I grew up in a very conservative family, very disciplined. Seniority is important in my family. I never had much of a say,' she said. It was an unexpected placing as first runner-up in TVB's New Talent Singing Awards in 1993 that set Lee, then an 18-year-old high school graduate, on her path as a singer. She has since released 15 Chinese and English-language music albums. But it has been more than two years since her last album. She said she spent most of last year planning the 50th birthday party of her fianc? Bruce Rockowitz, president of trading company Li & Fung. The celebrations included flying in Grammy-winning R&B pop queen Rihanna for a private performance. Lee said that this year her career would come first. She has been working on a new Putonghua album, due to be released in June, which will be followed by a concert series. 'I am very excited to come back out and do my thing and to be with my fans again,' she said. 'I don't want people to think that CoCo is not singing any more. I am definitely singing, I love my career and Bruce is very understanding of that and he totally respects me for that.' But will there be time for a wedding in the coming year? Lee is keeping quiet. '[Bruce and I] are both very busy people. There's no rush. We are happy right now.'