Performers in the recording industry often have careers rife with peaks and valleys. The public’s taste in music can be notoriously fickle. One day someone has a hit song or album, then, for whatever reason, they slip out of sight and their fans drift away.
This career rollercoaster is especially accurate for Sean Kingston, the popular American-Jamaican rapper and singer. His relative absence from our collective radar screen for a while has raised more than a few eyebrows and questions.
You may recall the success he earned in 2007 with the song “Beautiful Girls.” Where did he go after that? Did his jet ski accident detour him professionally? Where is Sean Kingston today?
His Second And Third Albums Were Commercial Flops
Tomorrow (2009) fell short of expectations. It peaked at only #37 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and sold a meager 13,000 copies in its first week of release. Kingston’s next venture also had a sub-par reception.
Despite featured appearances from big names like Justin Bieber, Flo Rida, and Soulja Boy, King of Kingz (2011) also performed mediocrely.
He Narrowly Survived A Near-Death Experience In 2011
The lackluster response to Kingston’s most recent albums was minor compared to the life-threatening disaster that befell him in 2011. During a vacation in Miami, Florida, Kingston had a jet ski accident and needed emergency open-heart surgery for a torn aorta.
He was targeted by cruel death hoaxes after the accident. In fact, a now-deleted video showed fake screenshots of BBC News broadcasting his death.
In September 2021, TheThings noted that some people still accept the false notion that Kingston is deceased. They explained the phenomenon this way: “The ‘Beautiful Girls’ singer was in dire condition, leaving many to assume he had passed. Well, the rumors carried on despite Sean being alive and well! Many attribute the hoax to simply being a Mandela effect, which has affected countless celebs in the business. Considering Sean stepped away from the limelight for so long, it was only understandable that the public actually believed he was dead.”
Reddit defined the Mandela effect as “a group of people realizing they remember something differently than is generally known to be fact….” Once rumors about famous people get established in the public’s consciousness and the buzz gets going, they can be stubbornly persistent despite having no basis in reality.
He Has Not Yet Released His Fourth Studio Album
According to a May 2021 report on HotNewHipHop, Kingston has a project in the works: an album titled Deliverance. He has been releasing singles from the album for years, beginning with “Wait Up” in 2015 and ending with “Darkest Times” in 2021. He spoke animatedly to HNHH about the boost he got from having an online presence early on and advised other artists who are rising through the ranks to explore similar avenues to gain a following.
“Be original, stay interesting, stay new. Come up with new ideas, new melodies, new vibes,” said Kingston. “I feel like that’s the easiest route because it’s like, everybody’s on their phone nowadays, so basically, you gotta figure out how to come in with something new to capitalize your audience.” He called his transition from MySpace to the industry “a blessing,” noting that he makes sure to remain connected to his fans and supporters online, albeit now it comes in the form of Instagram comments and DMs.”
Kingston explained why he chose this point in time to leap back into the spotlight. It sounded like he was energized and both artistically and emotionally primed.
“I just feel like the time is now,” he said. “I’ve been writing a lot of music behind the scenes. I’ve been writing a lot of hits for a lot of artists…Chris Brown, Lil Mosey. I’ve been writing hits for a lot of people, but I just felt like, now is the time for me to come back, for me to tell my story again, for me to get—I just feel like…with COVID and everything that’s going on, they need feel-good music.”
Despite His Wholesome Image, He Has Faced Legal Issues
Kingston has had some newsworthy brushes with the law. In 2013, it was reported that Kingston was facing a $5 million lawsuit as a result of rape allegations by a woman named Carissa Capeloto, who said that she was “forced into sex with Kingston, his bodyguard, and a band member in 2010 in Kingston’s hotel room, following the musician’s appearance at a Justin Bieber concert.”
The same year, 2013, TMZ reported that “Kingston settled [the lawsuit] NOT because he’s admitting guilt, but because his upcoming tour and new album release will prevent him from focusing his energies on a messy civil trial.”
The precise amount of the settlement was never publicized, but TMZ also reported that it was “only a fraction” of what his alleged victim was seeking in damages.
In 2020, TMZ stated that Kingston was again in legal turmoil, this time for failing to pay the bill for some heavy-duty bling. The charge for his crime was grand theft, and there was an arrest warrant out on the musician at the time.
More negative headlines ensued, this time in 2021 when TMZ reported that Kingston “allegedly punched and pulled a firearm on a music video director who had been staying in his home.” The supposed target of Kingston’s anger filed a police report, but no official charges have been filed.
Kingston’s social consciousness surfaced in a few ways. In March 2010, he released a PSA for DoSomething.org encouraging teens to get active in their communities.
A dog owner himself, Kingston partnered with PETA in September 2010 in an ad urging people not to chain their dogs outside, according to ABS-CBN News.
Kingston also dabbled in the sports world. In June 2020, The Blast reported that the singer, along with hip-hop agent Triple The Mogul, founded a professional boxing league for fellow rappers.