‘Can’t Leave You’ (离不开你, Líbùkāi nǐ) is the song that brought 44-year-old singer Huang Qishan (黄绮珊, Huáng Qǐshān) 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 (我是歌手, Wǒ shì gēshǒu), 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.

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).