Ken Lee

Ken Lee

Part of a series on Phonetic Translations. [View Related Entries]

Updated Nov 13, 2011 at 11:12PM EST by Brad.

Added Sep 01, 2009 at 06:28PM EDT by Brad.

Like us on Facebook!

PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.


Ken Lee (“Can’t Live”) is a phonetic interpretation of Mariah Carey’s 1993 cover single and Badfinger’s classic love song “Without You” performed by Valentina Hasan, a contestant who auditioned for the Bulgarian TV show Music Idol in February 2008. Although Ms. Hasan didn’t make the cut to the next round of competition, her audition clip quickly spread through Bulgarian internet hubs and gained over four million views within the first month of debut on YouTube.


Valentina Hasan appeared on Music Idol’s second season audition on February 7th 2008. The most viewed version of Ken Lee video, titled “Ken Lee or Without you by Mariah Carey”, was uploaded on February 27th, 2008 by YouTube user ArathBenedek. According to the video description: "The contestant’s name is Valentina Hasan, 29 years old. She’s from the village of Zvezdelina, in the Kardzhali Province. Valentina’s married and “Hasan” is her husband’s surname. She currently lives in Spain."

Karaoke Version & Lyrics

In an interview that took place in July 2008, Hasan explained to the Bulgarian media that she had no knowledge of English. She had just learned the song by heart and by ear, by listening to it repeatedly on a cassette recorder, and “sang it the way she felt it.”

Garbled Version

No one ken to ken to sivmen,
nor yon clees toju maliveh.
When i gez aju zavateh na nalechoo more,
new yonooz tonigh molinigh,
Yon sorra shooo,
yes ee shooo, ooo.
-Ken leee
tulibu dibu douchoo
Ken Lee,
Ken lee meju more.
Ken Lee
tulibu dibu douchoo
Ken Lee,
Ken lee meju more

Proper English Version

No I can’t forget this evening
Or your face as you were leaving
But I guess that’s just the way the story goes
You always smile but in your eyes
your sorrow shows
Yes, it shows
I can’t live
if living is without you
I can’t live
I can’t give anymore
I can’t live
if living is without you
I can’t give
I can’t give anymore

Remixes & Parodies

Appearances in Mainstream Media

Music Idol: Take Two

The popularity of the video encouraged Music Idol producers to invite Hasan back to sing the song live a few weeks later. By this time, Hasan had had more training with the English lyrics, made fewer errors, and poked fun at her own interpretation by singing the final verse in her original style. This video was also posted to YouTube and received over 13 million views (all clips totally) by the first half of May 2008.

Interview Footage with Hasan

Mariah Carey’s Reaction To Ken Lee

Recent Videos

There are no videos currently available.

Recent Images 6 total

+ Add a Comment

Comments 14 total


+ Add a Comment

Add a Comment

Yo Yo! You must login or signup first!