Beautiful Girls

Album: Sean Kingston (2007)
Charted: 1 1
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This song, which is based around the bass-line riff from Ben E King's "Stand By Me," was written by the then 16-year-old Sean Kingston in a couple of hours. The lyrics describe the feelings of a teenage boy when he's dumped by his girlfriend.
  • In an interview with djbooth.net, Sean Kingston explained how this song was based on his own life experiences: "Man, it was like young love. It was like I was going out with this girl for 3 years. We not doin' nothin' for a long time, and then in that third year, she didn't want us to be together. So, I'm thinkin' what am I supposed to do? And I was going crazy because I was really in love with this girl. A lot of people are sayin' there's a lot of beautiful girls out there, but I'm thinkin' it's deeper. There's more than just beauty."
  • The lyrics caused some controversy because of the repetitive use of the word "suicide" in the chorus. As a consequence, some radio stations removed it from their play lists, while others played a censored version, which replaced the word "suicidal" with "in denial."
  • This became a worldwide smash hit and in addition to being a transatlantic #1 it topped the charts in many other countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, Ireland plus the Euro 200 Singles chart.
  • When this climbed to the pole position of the Billboard Hot 100 in August 2007, it created a new record for the longest span of #1 hits for songwriters in the Rock era. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller received a songwriting credit for this track thanks to its sampling of their composition "Stand By Me." The duo's first American #1 on the singles chart was Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog," which reached the summit the week of Aug. 18, 1956. As a result, Leiber and Stoller's span of #1 hits stretches to 50 years, 51 weeks. The previous record holder had been Lincoln Chase, who has credits on Bert Kaempfert's "Wonderland by Night," #1 in January 1961, and Mariah Carey and Jay-Z's "Heartbreaker," #1 in October 1999, a gap of 38 years and 9 months.

    Another record broken by Leiber and Stoller thanks to the success of this song is the longest gap between #1 hits in the Rock era. Their previous Hot 100 chart-topper had been Wilbert Harrison's cover of their song "Kansas City," which climbed to the peak in May 1959, creating a gap of just over 48 years between the two #1s.
  • Another composer to receive a song writing credit thanks to the use of the "Stand By Me" sample was Ben E King. "Beautiful Girls" was the first #1 on the Pop singles chart King had been credited for. As he first charted as a member of The Drifters in 1959, the gap of 48 years between making a chart debut and reaching #1 is probably another record.
  • Sean Kingston himself broke a record by becoming the first artist born in the 1990s to have a #1 song on the Hot 100. He was born on February 3, 1990.
  • Sean Kingston explained the song in publicity materials: "I heard the track 'Stand By Me,' one night in the studio while listening to the radio and asked J.R. (Rotem, producer) if anyone had ever used that sample. He made the beat immediately and I wrote down the lyrics within an hour – it happened very quickly. I loved the way it turned out and I think my sound is a lot different than what else is out there. It all just worked and we knew we had something special with the track. I'm also singing about something people can relate to – I'm singing about being in love with someone who you think is your world but they don't see it that way and you have to end the relationship."
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 1

  • Mayra from Los Angeles, Cai like this song because it talks about love
see more comments

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in SongsSong Writing

Elvis, Little Richard and Cheryl Cole have all sung about Teddy Bears, but there is also a terrifying Teddy song from 1932 and a touching trucker Teddy tune from 1976.

Ben Kowalewicz of Billy TalentSongwriter Interviews

The frontman for one of Canada's most well-known punk rock bands talks about his Eddie Vedder encounter, Billy Talent's new album, and the importance of rock and roll.

Top American Idol Moments: Songs And ScandalsSong Writing

Surprise exits, a catfight and some very memorable performances make our list of the most memorable Idol moments.

Maria MuldaurSongwriter Interviews

The "Midnight At The Oasis" singer is an Old Time gal. She talks about her jug band beginnings and shares a Dylan story.

Lace the Music: How LSD Changed Popular MusicSong Writing

Starting in Virginia City, Nevada and rippling out to the Haight-Ashbury, LSD reshaped popular music.

Tanita TikaramSongwriter Interviews

When she released her first album in 1988, Tanita became a UK singing sensation at age 19. She talks about her darkly sensual voice and quirky songwriting style.