Culture

US rap chart-topper Sean Kingston performs at Sky Bar

BEIRUT: Vocalist Sean Kingston landed in town Thursday and left again Saturday morning. On Friday night he performed at Sky Bar, insude BIEL. The 19-year-old pop star is best known for his rap and reggae-influenced music. His debut single "Beautiful Girls" became a number one hit in the United States in 2007.

Although Kingston's stay in Beirut was brief, he said he did get to see some of the city and enjoyed being here. "It's definitely nice," said Kingston. "People love my music over here."

A man of few words, Kingston said he planned to go out and play basketball at Beirut's Hoops Sport Club before his show at a place called Sky Bar. He came to Beirut after a show in Moscow and as this story was being written he was in Canada for shows in Toronto and Calgary.

Kingston released his debut self-titled album in 2007 when he was 17-years-old. His tune "Beautiful Girls," released off of that album, became a number one billboard hit in the UK, Australia and Canada as well as in the US. Popular as it was, the song also attracted controversy for using the word "suicidal" in the lyrics.

Despite this controversy, Kingston's music is also known for his decision not to use profanity in his songs, unlike many other rappers.

Kingston's second album, titled "Tomorrow," is set to be released September 22. The single "Fire Burning," released on April 25, has become the popular song on that album and Kingston said he plans to release two more tracks from "Tomorrow" before it's released by Epic records. "Fire Burning" peaked at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100. Kingston's other hits include "Me Love" and "Take You There."

The vocalist had an mixed childhood, growing up in Florida and Kingston, Jamaica and his compositions are a synthesis of the music of both areas. The successful Jamaican producer Jack Ruby was his grandfather.

He has performed with pop music stars Gewn Stefani, Beyonce, Chris Brown and Kelly Clarkson and partnered with rappers Wyclef Jean, Lil' Wayne and pop band Good Charlotte.

Kingston wasn't the only American star to stay in Beirut Friday night. Socialite Paris Hilton was also in town to host a party at the Forum de Beyrouth. Hilton was in the region for her reality TV show in search of a best friend in Dubai.

Both Kingston and Hilton travel in similar social circles but Kingston said he had not met the 27-year-old media personality. "She invited me to one of her parties in LA but I didn't make it," said Kingston. "I heard she was pretty cool, but I haven't met her."

Further tour dates can be found on his website www.seankingston.com.

 

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