‘Can’t Leave You’ by Huang Qishan and Liu Huan

Huang Qishan 02

《离不开你》 ‘Can’t Leave You’ is the song that brought 44-year-old singer 黄绮珊 Huang Qishan aka Susan Huang to national attention on China’s internet over the past two weeks. Though she entered the music business 27 years ago, Huang Qishan did not become a household name until recently when she appeared on Hunan Satellite TV’s I’m A Singer, a singing competition reality show imported from South Korea’s Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation. This singing competition has featured famous artists from the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, such as Qi Qin aka Chyi Chin, Paul Wong Koon-Chung aka Huang Guanzhong (former guitarist from the Hong Kong rock band Beyond), Sha Baoliang, Chen Ming, Shang Wenjie aka Laure Shang, and the former members of the pop duet Yu Quan—Chen Yufan, and Hu Haiquan (these two singers also took turns hosting this reality show).

When I’m A Singer debuted on 2013 January 18th, Huang Qishan was the least known singer among the contestants and ranked only No.6 among the seven contestants, but then her name became a hot search term overnight after the show. In the following contest aired on January 25th, she rose to No.2 with a moving performance of Liu Huan‘s ‘Can’t Leave You’, the closing sequence of the TV series Snow City that was aired in 1988. She remarked that the song perfectly describes her connection with music. Her performance moved audiences to tears and won the admiration of many singers on Weibo as well. For the February 2nd contest, she paid tribute to Whitney Houston by singing “I’ll Always Love You” (video), and became the champion of the week.

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According to her profile on Baidu Baike [Baidu Encyclopedia], Huang Qishan was dubbed “China’s Mariah Carey” and “the No.1 female voice in Asia” though she has released only two albums so far, Only You (2000) and Asia First Female (2009, on Amazon).

Huang Qishan’s performance of “Can’t Leave You” on the nostalgic singing competition reality show I’m A Singer on Hunan Satellite TV:

Composer: Liu Huan
Lyrics: Li Wenqi
Singer: Huang Qishan/Susan Huang

Lyrics (Original Chinese, Pinyin Romanization, and English Translation):


nǐ chǎng kāi huái bào róng huà le wǒ
You opened your arms, melting me

nǐ qīngniǎn zhǐ jiān róu suì le wǒ
You pressed your fingertips together, crumbling me

nǐ gǔ dòng fēng yún juǎn zǒu le wǒ
You stirred the winds and clouds, rolling me away

nǐ xiān qǐ bō lán pāo qì le wǒ
You made waves, abandoning me



我俩 太不公平
wǒ liǎ tài bù gōng píng
Us two, (it’s) so unfair

ài hé hèn quán yóu nǐ cāo zòng
Love and hate, all controlled by you

可今天 我已离不开你
kě jīn tiān wǒ yǐ lí bù kāi nǐ
But today, I can no longer leave you

不管你 爱不爱我
bù guǎn nǐ ài bú ài wǒ
Whether you love me or not




Huang QIshan 01

Liu Huan might be better known to foreigners as the Chinese man who sang “You and Me”, the official theme song of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, alongside Sarah Brightman. More recently, he was one of the judges on the popular 中国好声音 Voice of China television singing competition.

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Here’s his performance of “Can’t Leave You”:

Liu Huan

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  • [email protected]

    I love the whole “Asia first female” and “I’m a Singer” stuff. Talk about stating the obvious, although, “Asia First Female” seems rather misguided.

  • Azeri

    Slow piano, softly, whisper-esque vocals, the subject of dedication and commited love again? Dull is defined in this sort of stuff.

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  • The Enlightened One

    ChinaSMACK could you PLEASE stop with only introducing Chinese POP Music? Could you throw in some Chinese rock bands or something different?

    This stuff is REALLY boring, always generic love songs or some sort of nostalgic, longing-for-the-time-when, staring off into the distance… kind of music.

    China has much more to offer than this government approved stuff.

    • Hongwu Emperor

      I suggest some guqin music, by the way.

  • elizabeth

    Wow, she started at 17. If anything at all, she deserves at an award for perseverance although I’d reserve the title of the No. 1 in Asia for Teresa Teng. I have yet to come across an Asian female who could replace her in this genre. Her western counterpart would be Celine Dion.

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