Netizens Bash Jackson Wang’s Cover of Jacky Cheung’s Cantonese Song

In recent years, Hong Konger Jackson Wang (王嘉爾) successfully shifted his focus to the mainland Chinese market after making his debut in South Korea with the boy group GOT7. One week ago, he returned to his roots by uploading a cover of a Cantonese song. While his vocals garnered praises from mainlanders, other netizens expressed their disapproval for two reasons. 

When the singer’s rendition of Jacky Cheung‘s (張學友) Cantonese classic, “You and Me on the Road” <分手总要在雨> uploaded onto YouTube, netizens noticed he inaccurately titled the song <一路上有你> and labeled it as the “Cantonese version.” Since <一路上有你> is Jacky’s Mandarin version of “You and Me on the Road” and released one year after the Cantonese original, Jackson received criticism for disrespecting the Canto-pop King by not using the Cantonese title.

Jackson Faked a Foreign Accent

In addition to the mistake, the native Hong Konger sang in Cantonese with an “impure” accent. Netizens laughed and said his accent resembles that of the foreigners attempting to sing in Cantonese in the song-guessing segment of the Super Trio <獎門人> variety series. Yet, he did not have such an unnatural accent when he returned to Hong Kong last year to attend Sammi Cheng‘s (鄭秀文) concert as a guest. He was also accent-free when he participated in Carol Cheng‘s (鄭裕玲) variety show Do Did Eat <Do姐有問題> and her radio show When I Was Young I Listen to the Radio <口水多過浪花>. 

On top of the accent, Jackson also had a lot of lazy pronunciations. Netizens expressed, “He sounds normal when speaking in Cantonese, but how come he sings so weird in Cantonese? He should not be singing like this if his mother tongue is Cantonese” and “It sounds like people from other provinces singing in Cantonese.”

Ditching His Hong Kong Identity

It is not the first time he received backlash regarding his identity as a Hong Kong native. When he initially debuted in South Korea, Jackson often flaunted his Hong Kong pride by identifying himself as a “Hong Konger.” He also brought up multiple times that he was once on the Hong Kong national fencing team. However, after he began developing his career in mainland China, he started calling himself “Chinese.”

Also, he previously wrote Chinese characters in simplified form, which is more common in mainland China than in Hong Kong. When someone asked why he didn’t write the characters in traditional form, Jackson replied, “It’s written this way, as far as I know.” His response inevitably caused a rift among mainland Chinese and Hong Kong fans. 

Jackson’s Chinese patriotism has just been growing stronger ever since he turned his focus to the mainland Chinese market. Last summer, he expressed that he is a flag bearer on Weibo, in response to Hong Kong protesters chucking the Chinese flag into the sea, which led Hong Kongers to call him a betrayer. He even once shouted, “China,” during a live broadcast and called himself a “China man” at a concert. However, netizens attacked him for using that phrase, as it contains racist implications. They said he should call himself “Chinese” instead of “China man.” 

Jackson’s Cover of “You and Me on the Road”:

Source: Topick

This article is written by MelodyC for

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  1. I thought the article was misinterpreting when it mentioned he “faked an accent,” but wow there’s definitely an accent in this one. Even I could tell. But I think it’s normal since he grew up in an international school where proper Cantonese might not have been emphasized as much as other languages. Then he went to Korea and now back to China so it’s understandable if his accent sounds weird. Spoken vs singing Canto can sound different. Jack of all trades but master of none as they say.

    1. @coralie Yeah, I agree with you. He’s been around everywhere, it’s possible to sound off.

      I don’t know if I’m right, but I feel like he didn’t fake the accent. Instead, he tried to imitate Jacky’s way of singing this song. That’s why he sounds so odd. If you listened to both Jackson and Jacky line by line, you can see that he’s imitating the way Jacky sings instead of singing it through his style.

      I think if Jackson sang it as a cover, there would be more praises than backlashes.

      1. @mi520
        I agree with you and he was trying to imitate Jacky’s style. If he had sang it in his own style, it would have been much better. He did fake the accent. He speaks 3 Chinese dialects, plus English and Korean on top of that so it is not a surprise that he would have a natural accent of some sort. Sadly some mistakenly think he is trying out fake one.

      2. @hetieshou You need to stop defending him. He did not imitate Jacky. There’s tons of people at Karaokes that do that better than this at a moments notice. He sang his own version. At this point, he is a professional singer that is expected to have a level of professionalism with his arts. Basic enunciation is expected if you are singing an ode to the God of Singer, and especially if you spent the past couple of years telling everyone you are a Hong Konger. He half assed this rendition. This song won the best song of the year award in 1992 in many of the award show. More respect should be shown by the young singer.

        I don’t mean this should be the death of him or that he is a terrible person for this, but he needs to be mindful that people pay attention to little things. He could have just sang the mandarin version if he wanted to do something easy.

      3. OMG he’s killing the song with the bad canto pronunciations. @mi520 I disagree, Jackie didnt have any accent singing the song. He had a certain style yes but it wasnt littered with the foreign lilt that Jackson has. He sings the you as “Le” instead of “ngei” which is a very bad lazy pronunciation.

    2. @coralie
      I realise he sounds so weird when he sang this song. Is he trying to proof that he is a foreigner and that is why he sang it that way. Anyway, please inform him not to destroy this beautiful song by
      Jackie Cheung

  2. Can’t really fault the guy for catering more to the mainland audience, I mean that’s where the money is. People aren’t in show business to not make money, so it’s just a business decision. Hongers should really stop getting so butt hurt over it.

    That said, singers should really be careful picking Jacky songs. If you aren’t a great singer, it’ll just make you look bad when compared to the original. Pick an easier singer like Ekin or Jordan Chan ha ha, those songs I’m sure you can elevate a lot easier vs. the original.

    1. @theyenman Jordan Chan’s songs are actually a bit difficult to sing too, as he does sing higher pitched songs occasionally lol. He needs songs with very low pitch.

      1. @coralie @theyenman
        jordan chan’s songs aren’t exactly easy. he’s got pretty good singing skills so it makes it look effortless. ekin cheng on the other hand, his songs are pretty amateur skill wise.

      2. @m0m0 agreed :). i love jordan chan’s old songs, and i’ve tried singing them in karoake so i know they’re not easy to sing haha.

    2. @theyenman indeed China is a bigger market but not forgetting too that both his parents are from China. Father represented China in fencing and mother was an acrobatic gymnast from Shanghai. His grandfather was a pioneer in diagnostic medicine from China so it’s not surprising at all for him to identify with China as his roots in the country are strong. But do agreed that he picked the wrong song to sing. How can he pick God of song’s song?

  3. @coralie I agree. As a person born in the US, I actually have perfect Cantonese…. But I found a few times when I sing a Cantonese song I would some how have a white accent too. I realize it has to do with us so used to singing a certain style in English that we can sometimes automatically sing in that same style in another language. Btw I’m not a fan of this guy nor do I ever listen to his songs. This was the first song I heard him sing lol.

    1. @abcd
      You should listen to his other songs as he sings pretty well. He is a member of the Kpop boyband Got7. In order to even debut in a Kpop group, you need to train for many years. In fact many do not even get to debut in spite of training for years.

      1. @abcd
        You are welcome and I think he sings pretty well for a younger generation artist. I do not think it is fair to compare him to a veteran like Jacky. He definitely sings better than any of the actors from tvb for sure as he got lots of training and is part of a popular Kpop boyband. Kpop standards are high and strict.

    1. @jane626 Thats what i thought. It didnt look natural at all if you look at his mouth or his tongue, you can see something going on to create the odd accent. Any how, he made a classic song into a bad one for me for sure. Grew up with this song and I think he may have made it better for him if he just sung it his own way, as Jacky Cheung’s voice is probably one of the hardest to copy and his vocal range is huge so it wouldn’t have been easy to do it and he would never have been able to achieve it even with his new found accent.

      As for his political standing, I think he is no better than those that protested in Hong Kong and caused riots. For someone of his platform, he should have used a more grown up method to sound his support. However its up to him, if he feels that Hong Kong people are wrong then he has the finances to walk away and be with the country he supports so he shouldn’t be judged as we would be no better than those in China Government imposing rules to the people of Hong Kong without any discussion or guidance.

  4. Ewwww. That was sooooo cringe. That’s embarrassing! Plus, trying to cover Jacky Cheung’s song?! Epic fail!

  5. I wonder what @llwy12 has to say about this. It’s been a long time since I’ve last seen him/her comment around here. -_-

  6. I enjoy watching Jackson in variety shows, he’s actually really funny especially when he mispronounces words in mandarin. But this rendition of 分手總要在雨天 of his was atrocious. He’s putting on a korean accent when singing cantonese. I’m surprised how bad his breathing technique is too, the last line of the song you have to sing it all in one breath but he instead sang it in two breathes like this “在痛苦擁抱告別後 BREATHES 從沒再見”.

    1. @melody
      He actually sings very well but since this was not his signature song, he may not have sounded that great. But he was not that bad. Jackson is talented and has a very outgoing personality. He can be friends with pretty much anyone.

    2. @melody
      you’re right about the breathing, very breathy. his style is definitely imitating the kpop singing style which is do not convey the same type of emotions which we’re accustomed to listening for this song. i think he sounds okay for someone who has never heard the song before but lacks his own style. it’s like the other girl from in am a singer show, can’t remember her name. but she had a kpop singing style too, i didn’t think she was a good singer after listening to 1 full song b/c the skills were all imitated instead of original. i think it was used as a facade to cover up the actual lack of skills.

  7. omg, he sounds like a korean singing in cantonese. did his korean music teacher tell him to sing like that? what a shame.

  8. OK, I just watched it. I can see the criticisms. It was cringe worthy bad ha ha. If you didn’t know it, it sounds like a non Cantonese native speaker trying to sing a Canto song. And guy is not a good singer at all. His voice sucks.

  9. this cover was a disaster he losing he Cantonese pronunciation or what lol… it makes me to appreciate Jacky version much more.

  10. Give the poor guy a break as he tried. It was not that bad and he is not the original artist so of course he cannot be the one best one to sing it. He sings other songs pretty well though. It is not his signature song so why is everyone so hard on him? He is multilingual so give the guy some credit.

    1. @hetieshou hi there, totally agree with you. I too think Jackson was not bad. He did a decent cover. We all know there is only one Jacky Cheung, who is second to none, but give the kid a break, he did a good cover of the song. To answer your question, the boys are Taiwanese, drama is Taiwanese. Take care of yourself girl. Hope all is well with you and love ones.

    2. It was an awful rendition and if you are going up against the challenge of singing an amazing song sung preciously by an amazing artist then be prepared to be critisised if he doesnt meet standards. On this occasion he totally missed the mark. Bad pronunciations as well as bad techniques.

  11. Don’t dislike the guy but I dislike his performance of the song. I’d rather he spend more time conveying the emotions of the lyrics than concentrating on his singing technique.

  12. Wow! I don’t like or dislike the guy either but do give him a break. He’s probably so used to speaking more Korean than Chinese now.

  13. OMG! the korean accent is so strong i thought he replaced it with korean lyrics! it really is weird, considering he is from hk to sound like this

  14. The starting bit was kind of odd but it got a little better further in. My guess is this was what the production team wanted it to sound like. It wasn’t just his decision alone. This is not a random jamming session with his mates or a gig at a bar, it sounds and looks to me to be proper studio quality. So I am guessing that the production folks would have listened to the recording, edited it or do whatever else was required and considered it OK. It doesn’t look to me to be just him pulling a funny accent; seems to be part of a bigger marketing thing. Just a guess. I am not familiar with this guy, never heard him speak or sing so don’t really know what sort of accent he normally has….

    1. @summerdale
      His name is Jackson Wang Jia Yi and is a member of the Kpop boyband Got7. He speaks Chinese(mandarin, Cantonese,Shanghainese)Korean and English. Therefore, of course he would have an accent. He sings pretty well but of course he would not sound as good singing a classic song by an established singer like Jacky. He sings other songs very well.

  15. Love Jackson, but let’s face it, he ain’t no Jacky Cheung!! He did his best. Probably wanted to pay tribute. It’s all good!

  16. Love Jackson, but let’s face it, he ain’t no Jacky Cheung!! He did his best. Probably wanted to pay tribute. It’s all good!

    1. @angeltien
      Honestly it is not fair to compare him to a veteran like Jacky. For his generation, he actually sings pretty well as he is part of the popular Kpop boyband Got7. In order to even debut in a Kpop band, you need to train for many years. In fact you can train for years and still not debut so even debuting is already an accomplishment since the competition and standards are very high.

  17. I like Jackson’s raspy voice and songs (love his Mirrors album), but he does sound odd in this cover. I’m not sure if he was lazy with the pronunciation, his Cantonese has regressed (very common when you don’t speak the language very often) or was trying for a style that just didn’t work.

    I do like his cover of the Jay Chou song Silence (安静) though. The rap lyrics he wrote for it was a great addition (

    If the MV is catered to the mainland audience, then it makes sense to display the Mandarin title and indicate it is the Cantonese version of the song the audience is familiar with.

  18. Omg, I’ve heard him speak Cantonese before but the Korean accent was not that strong! So hearing this, it makes me wonder if he is stressing the Korean accent purposely, which is a shame! I also heard him sing in Mandarin before, and it’s also not as bad, so it’s disappointing knowing that he is a Hong Kong native.

    1. @1piscesish if it makes you feel better why his mandarin is better than Cantonese, it could be the fact that both his parents are mainlanders chinese. His mum is a Shanghainese, therefore he also speaks shanghainese since it is his mother’s tongue. Not surprisingly at all that he could speak better mandarin than Chinese since he probably speaks it at home and use English medium in the intl school.

      1. @nigel
        I actually heard his mom speak Cantonese to him after reuniting after a long time. I am guessing he speaks all of them to his parents.

  19. Well in realty, regardless Hongkongers will admit it or not. They are now Chinese. They are part of Chinese. Many disregard it but many accepts it too. Whether, they like it or not, accepts it or now. Facts are facts. That can no longer be changed unless they want to go to war and fight back for independence. Which will not happen now…

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