Sean Kingston has his hand on his chin and is smiling.
Image via Sony

What happened to Sean Kingston?

At one time, Sean Kingston was on top of the world as the next R&B sensation. Then he disappeared from the limelight. What happened to him?

Does anyone remember Sean Kingston? If you’re a member of Gen Z or even a millennial, then the name might ring a bell. A few years before the start of the last decade, Kingston was a budding R&B artist who was taking the world by storm with his single “Beautiful Girls,” introducing a new reggae-inspired R&B sound that has been emulated by numerous artists over the decades. The song peaked at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and earned Kingston several slots as the opening act for various artists including Gwen Stefani, Beyoncé, and Kelly Clarkson.

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It seemed that the Jamaican singer was well on his way to becoming the next face of R&B and reggae as his name began to grow in the industry. At least, until that name became notorious among celebrity circles for less than stellar reasons before the singer seemed to disappear from the spotlight entirely. So what happened, and what has Kingston been doing this whole time?

Who is Sean Kingston?

Sean Kingston is making a peace sign on the red carpet.

Born Kisean Paul Anderson in Miami, Florida on Feb. 3, 1990, Sean Kingston and his family moved to Kingston, Jamaica when he was six. It was there that he attended school for three years before migrating back to the United States. Even back then, Kingston’s musical destiny was carved into his family tree, as his grandfather was the noted Jamaican reggae producer Lawrence Lindo.

Around 2007, Kingston was discovered on YouTube and signed a partnership deal with Sony. At the time, he had actually started his career in the industry as a rapper before label heads and producers decided to help him develop a more melodic sound. The end result was Kingston’s first single, Beautiful Girls, which appeared on his first studio album, Sean Kingston.

From there, the song became an international success and topped the charts in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Soon, Kingston was touring and featuring other artists’ projects as he geared up to release his next studio album.

It was another two years before Kingston released his second studio album, Tomorrow, in 2009. The album featured a star-studded roster of artists including T-Pain, Nicki Minaj, Soulja Boy, Dr. Dre, and Akon. The first single from the album, Eenie Meenie, featured Justin Bieber and was even featured on Bieber’s My World 2.0 album.

The two artists had even planned to release a mixtape together called Our World, which featured 12 to 14 new songs. However, the album was never released and instead, Kingston went on to perform on the first leg of Bieber’s tour before returning to the studio to work on another album.

The rapid decline of Sean Kingston’s career

Sean Kingston is performing for a crowd.
Image via Sean Kingston

Kingston then followed up with the singles “Fire Burning,” which was a huge summer hit, and “Face Drop,” trying to capitalize on his momentum. Unfortunately, the album only peaked at no. 37 on the US Billboard 200  and sold a meager 13,000 copies in its first week of release. It soon dropped further past the top 40 until it fell 50 spots to no. 87.

Despite the album sales, Kingston remained a respected artist amongst his peers, leading to dozens of collaborative projects often released as singles. He was featured on former rapper Bow Wow’s single For My Hood, co-wrote Jason Derulo‘s “Whatchu Say,” and even partnered with Italian singer Giusy Ferreri on the vocal part of the single “Amore e Capoeira.”

Though Kingston did not continue to reach the same success he did with his first album, it did not derail him from releasing more projects. He returned in 2011 with his third project, King of Kingz, which featured appearances by Akon, Flo Rida, Soulja Boy, Justin Bieber, B.O.B, and Tory Lanez. Unfortunately, the album did not make any waves in the water despite its star-studded roster.

Sean Kingston’s unfortunate accident

Sean Kingston is lying in a hospital bed.
Image via MTV News

Then the tide went from bad to worse. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kingston was in a jet ski accident in 2011 while enjoying the waters of Miami on vacation. Kingston reportedly slammed into a bridge, catapulting himself and a female passenger into the water, and was knocked unconscious. Kingston was then taken to the hospital in critical condition, where 11 days later he had to have emergency open-heart surgery for a torn aorta.

It was another four years before Kingston hinted at a new project when he released Wait Up as the lead single off of his upcoming fourth studio album. Between then and now, Kingston has periodically released singles like “One Away” and “All I Got” to keep his fans interested while they wait for his fourth project. Unfortunately, neither single made any significant progress on the charts. 

In recent years, Kingston has continued to hint at the possible release of his fourth album, Deliverance, as he has once again returned to releasing random singles that are said to be on the album’s tracklist. In 2019, he released “Peace of Mind” featuring Tory Lanez and in May of last year, followed it up with “Darkest Times” featuring rapper G Herbo. 

What happened to Sean Kingston?

Sean Kingston is leaning into a car.
Image via Empire

According to Urban Islandz, on November 5, 2021, Kingston allegedly punched a video director and pulled a gun on him inside Kingston’s home in Los Angeles. Apparently, the video director, who goes by the Instagram handle GXDLIKE, had been staying in Kingston’s home for three months to film video footage.

He claims that on November 5, Kingston asked him to shoot some footage in the home around 2 a.m. However, the director said that his phone was dead at the time, leading the singer to become enraged and punch him in the face. Afterward, Kingston allegedly pulled his firearm on him while demanding that he collect his things and leave the house.

A statement sent out to reporters from Kingston’s attorneys denied the singer’s involvement. 

“Any allegations regarding my client, Sean Kingston, made over the past few days are false. It is unfortunate that Sean’s former videographer upon being terminated has chosen to seek his five minutes of fame. All claims will be disproven.”

Kingston kept a relatively low profile as the incident was investigated. This did not stop the hardworking artist though, as he continued to work on his new reggae album in the studio, Road to Deliverance. Although this slowed down his momentum to release it, Kingston kept it going.

Was Kingston’s Road to Deliverance album and tour successful?

It was not until late Sept. 2022 that Road To Deliverance was released as Kingston’s fourth studio album. Just three months later, he began his Road To Deliverance tour. Fans received the much-awaited album and toured warmly, although it’s undeniable that his popularity during the early years of his career remains unbeatable.

Kingston admits how his accident really threw him off, and he could not think about music for at least over a year while he was in recovery. On top of that were the allegations he faced, which took a toll on his progress as an artist and performer. However, since his last tour, Kingston eagerly continued to perform shows and promote his music.

He continues to perform shows, singing his hits like “Beautiful Girls” and “Fire Burning”. He is active on Instagram and continues to share his love for his fans.


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Author
Iya Paterno
Hello there! I'm Iya, and I grew up reading entertainment, hollywood, and fashion magazines. On my spare time, I love watching all sorts of films from Disney to action.