Sean Kingston is celebrating his debut single “Beautiful Girls,” passing the one (1) billion mark on YouTube. The track was released on the artist’s debut album Sean Kingston on May 26, 2007.
At the time of the release, Sean Kingston was only 17 years old, but he immediately shot to fame with the feel-good track that appealed to many late teens and young adults due to the relatable lyrics.
The track sample’s Ben E. King’s classic “Stand by Me” and took on the perspective of a boy who felt “suicidal” because he was intimidated by the girl’s looks. After spending months on radio rotation and the iTunes chart, the song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 two weeks after its digital release. At that time, the song saw 260,000 downloads in its first week, which was the second highest digital sales for a new song in 2007, and it only fell short behind Rihanna’s smash hit single “Umbrella.”
The Jamaican American, at such a young age, became the first artist born in the 1990s to top the Hot 100.
Despite being a commercial success in many markets like Canada and the UK, the song was censored in other countries due to the reference to suicide. In Germany, it was removed from several radio playlists as well as a few radio stations in the United States.
On Thursday (September 8), the track, which is certified 2X Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, hit the 1 billion mark on YouTube on the artist’s official page. The collective streams are more than a billion, though, as there are other pages that also have hundreds of millions of views due to the popularity of the song.
Earlier this week, he shared a message of gratitude for the song’s success.
“Huge Blessing! BillionaireClub @ University of Michigan,” he wrote.
The artist is presently promoting his single “Ocean Drive’ featuring Chris Brown, and his Twitter bio also shares that he has a new album, Deliverance, coming soon.